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36 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1941
Like all the men of the Library, in my younger days I traveled; I have journeyed in quest of a book, perhaps the catalog of catalogs. Now that my eyes can hardly make out what I myself have written, I am preparing to die, a few leagues from the hexagon where I was born. When I am dead, compassionate hands will throw me over the railing; my tomb will be the unfathomable air, my body will sink for ages, and will decay and dissolve in the wind engendered by my fall, which shall be infinite.
“The ultimate absurdity is now staring us in the face: a universal library of two volumes, one containing a single dot and the other a dash. Persistent repetition and alternation of the two are sufficient, we well know, for spelling out any and every truth. The miracle of the finite but universal library is a mere inflation of the miracle of binary notation: everything worth saying, and everything else as well, can be said with two characters.” — W. V. O. QuinteSo, all in all, I really love how much food for thought this short story provided in only 10 pages. However, I cannot give it a higher rating since the story in and out of itself wasn't accessible to me. I definitely learned that if I ever read a full collection of Borges, I will do that in German (my native language) rather than English because I found him incredibly difficult to follow.
The eight pieces of this book do not require extraneous elucidation.This frees me to explore the dreamscape of The Library of Babel without too much of an agenda.