Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ironic Borgesian Textual Labyrinth with a Spam Minotaur

In several of the short stories of famed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, he imagined assembling books from random snippets of characters or text--like monkeys pounding away on typewriters haphazardly and seeing what strange passages they've typed. In such works, any semblance of meaning would be hidden amongst page after page of pure nonsense. In "The Library of Babel" Borges imagines an entire universe of such random books, and librarians seeking deeper truth in this labyrinth of meaninglessness.

Yesterday I discovered a new blog "" that at first glance seemed to be dedicated to Borges and labyrinths. However, after reading through the blog for a split second, it vanished and automatically shifted to a commercial chat site (the details of which I'll spare the reader). With some effort, I restored the original blog and found it to be a randomly organized collection of text snippets pertaining to the Argentine writer and mazes with absolutely no rhyme or reason. For example, the Saturday, October 27 entry reads:

"No description. Labyrinths It is impossible to imagine the former owner/occupant of this decaying Borgesian labyrinth of books, which still palpably pulsates with ideas and visions that only a lover of Borges can appreciate and understand, not having the . Paris, France: There are extensive networks of catacombs, quarries and other tunnels running under the capital of France. Some of these amazing photographs were taken by urban explorers who lit the scenes with candles, . Labyrinths Borges The inspiring Labyrinth, Memorial Wall and Sculpture Garden are located approximately 13 miles north of Weed, CA on Hwy 97."

That's either remarkably ungrammatical writing, or the random assembly of text by a computer algorithm craftily designed to lure intellectuals into a maze of prose, only to be whisked away by the minotaur of commercialism and spam. Isn't it ironic that a Borgesian blog could be assembled through shear chance?


JoDeeva said...

Hey, Paul,
Stumbled upon you here. I'm enjoying the blogs! Had a delightful summer reading your book with a neighbor, a bright 11 year old young lady. We had a lot of fun;} I'll write you over on myspace with the story! I'm not spending as much time there these days..more bloging here.
I love Jorge Luis Borges, especially "The Library of Babel". Jung would call that irony of shear chance more akin to synchronicity (yeah, yeah, I know..still, Jung intrigues me!)
I linked you on my blog here. Hope to hear from you!
Peace, Jo

Paul said...

Hi Jo,

Great that you discovered my other blog and pleased that you and your 11-year old neighbor enjoyed my book! Glad that you like Borges and Jung. Yes, I imagine that Jung would call it synchronicity.

Best wishes,