The Library of Babel

Suppose there exists a digital library with a lot of books (10^2000000 books – 10 followed by two million zeros). Each book contains four hundred ten pages; each page, forty lines; each line, approximately eighty black letters. Suppose such a library could indeed contain every possible combination of letters in a 410 page book. That indeed would be a lot of books.

Well, I think The Library of Babel is such a library.

Search…

For your name
For a date in the future
For a date in the past
For a passage from your favorite book, or something you yourself have written. Search for alternate scenes and endings.
If you have writer’s block, search for the last word or sentence fragment you’ve written, and find out how it ends.

Those who tire of being constantly thwarted looking for meaning among the library’s babble can use reading its jumbled texts as a form of meditation. Eventually your mind learns no longer to search for or expect significance.

Brilliant.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply