On an Infinite Book

But there is a check on all of this anxiety about information collection and Borgesian libraries. The threat that human knowledge will be lost—either through destruction, or by dilution due to sheer scale—is still the dominant cultural narrative about libraries, real and imagined. The Library of Alexandria, often described as a physical embodiment of the heart and mind of the ancient world, is so famous today in part because it was destroyed. In The Book of Sand, Borges describes an infinite book that nearly drives the narrator mad before he resolves to get rid of it. ‘I thought of fire, but I feared that the burning of an infinite book might likewise prove infinite and suffocate the planet with smoke,’ he writes. Instead, he opts to ‘hide a leaf in the forest’ and sets off for the Argentine National Library with the bizarre volume.

"The Human Fear of total Knowledge" - http://theatln.tc/1UnzLfu

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