On infinity

16 03 2010

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I just wrote “infinite”. I have not interpolated this adjective out of mere rhetorical habit; I say that it is not illogical to think that the world is infinite. Those who judge it as limited, postulate that in remote places the hallways and the ladders and the hexagons can inconceivably end – which is absurd. Those who imagine them without limits, forget that they have the possible number of books. I dare to insinuate this solution to the ancient problem: The library is unlimited and periodic. If an eternal traveler were to cross it in any direction, he would prove after many centuries that the volumes repeat themselves in the same disorder (that, repeated, would be order: Order itself). My solitude rejoices in that elegant hope.

-Jorge Luis Borges, “La biblioteca de Babel”, my translation



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