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The Library of Babel

The Library of Babel

by Jorge Luis Borges

The Library of Babel Resources

Websites

The Library of Babel... Digitized!

Now you can pick up a book off the shelf in the Library of Babel and browse its pages, hoping to come across a legible phrase, an interesting pattern, or even a secret code. The Internet is a marvelous invention, is it not?

The Garden of Forking Paths

Allen B. Ruch runs this website, which is an astounding collection of information about and inspired by the work of Jorge Luis Borges.

Articles & Interviews

Borges 2.0

A growing number of scholars are making the case that "The Library of Babel" and some of Borges' other mind-bending stories contain the seeds of the Internet culture that we live in today. (Be on the lookout for a collection of essays entitled Cy-Borges. We kid you not.) This article in the New York Times draws a few parallels between Borges' ideas and some of our most beloved digital institutions (like Wikipedia).

An Interview with Borges in the New York Times

The New York Times interviewed Borges in 1971.  He explains that being a widely beloved intellectual means, among other things, that you don't have to pay cab fare.

Books

William Goldbloom Block, The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel (2008)

If you enjoyed crunching the numbers in Borges' story and figuring out, for example, how many books there are in the Library, or how big the Library has to be, you might want to check out this book by Professor William Goldbloom Block. In an approachable style, he explores the mathematical theory behind the story.

Video

The Mirror Man

This 2007 documentary about Jorge Luis Borges was made by director Philippe Molins.

Audio

Borges Does Tango

Borges wasn't just an essayist – he was also, evidently, a lyricist. In the 1960s, Borges collaborated with legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla to create a series of tangos. Their work was rerecorded and released as an album in 1994.

More Recordings of Borges' Tangos

Argentine singer Valeria Munarriz covers several of these tangos, as well as others inspired by Borges. You can listen to samples from the album here.

"The Riddle of Poetry"

Borges delivers a lecture at Harvard in 1967.

Images

The Borges Gallery

A collection of images of Jorge Luis Borges.

Borges the Librarian

At the National Library in Argentina.

The Infinite Library

Here's an artist's depiction of what Borges' Library could look like – does it look anything like what you've been imagining?

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