Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:
• Pocket to Laroussia – Larousse de Poche (Librarie Larousse 1954)
• Translated to Heaven – Les Hommes Volants, Valerie Moolman, trans. Madeleine Astorkia (Time-Life Books 1981)
• The Eyes of the Infinite Mind – Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
• Caught by the Furze – Francis Walker’s Aphids, John P. Doncaster (British Museum 1961)
• Commit to Crunch – Maverick Munch: Selecting a Sinisterly Savory Snack to Reinforce Your Rhizomatically Radical Reading, Will Self (TransVisceral Books 2016)
Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR
Me dijo que su libro se llamaba el Libro de Arena, porque ni el libro ni la arena tienen ni principio ni fin. — Jorge Luis Borges, “El Libro de Arena” (1975)
He told me that his book was called the Book of Sand, because neither book nor sand has beginning or end. — Borges, “The Book of Sand“
Muerto, no faltarán manos piadosas que me tiren por la baranda; mi sepultura será el aire insondable; mi cuerpo se hundirá largamente y se corromperá y disolverá en el viento engendrado por la caída, que es infinita. — «La biblioteca de Babel» (1941), Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986).
When I die, there shall be no lack of pious hands to cast me over the railing; my grave shall be the fathomless air; my body shall fall for ever and rot and dissolve in the wind generated by the fall, which is everlasting. — “The Library of Babel”, Jorge Luis Borges.
“…par la suggestive lecture d’un ouvrage racontant de lointains voyages…” – J.K. Huysmans, À Rebours (1884).
The language you know best is also the language you know least: your mother tongue, the language you acquired by instinct and speak by intuition. Asking a native speaker to describe English, French or Quechua is rather like asking a fish to describe water. The native speaker, like the fish, knows the answer very intimately, yet in some ways doesn’t know as well as a non-native speaker. In other words, standing outside can help you better understand standing inside: there is good in the gap. What is it like to experience gravity? Like most humans, I’ve known all my life, but I’d know better if I were in orbit or en route to the moon, experiencing the absence of gravity.
And what is it like to be human? We all know and we’ve all read countless stories about other human beings. But in some ways they don’t answer that question as effectively as stories that push humanity to the margins, like Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1972), which is about rabbits, or Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves (also 1972), which is about trisexual aliens in a parallel dimension. There is good in the gap, in stepping outside the familiar and looking back to see the familiar anew.
Continuing reading The Power of Babel