Borges has the answer to our question?

Now we have an idea of what we believe would be an effective style of site specific performance, we have to link our site, the University Library, to our performance style. We believe our answer to this question is present in the writing of Jorge Luis Borges. In his writing of The Library of Babel Borges states, “In all the Library, there are no two identical books” (Borges 1998, p. 115). If there are not two identical books, what are the differences? Another quotation from Borges writing to help answer that question is “… all books, however different from one another they might be, consist of identical elements: the space, the period, the comma, and the twenty-two letters of the alphabet” (Borges 1998, p. 114). So, if the answer is not in the printing of books, it must be suggested that they are all different because of the human interaction they have experienced. If I was to take a book from the University Library, that had several copies of the ‘same’ book on the shelf, and I bent the spine to read a page, I have effectively left a mark on that book that is individual to that specific book. The other copies of the book have not interacted with me but may have interacted with others, so now these so-called identical books are now completely individual to one another. They are all individual by human interaction. This is an interesting concept to explore, because as there are five members, including myself, in my group, we could all discover our individual interactions with books and explore those further or we could debate the infinity of books and language.

To link this concept of the infinity of books back to our potential performance style, it could be suggested that we ‘town cry’ what we discover from this process of finding our own individual human interactions. We feel this would give the University Library a different perspective, which has an affinity to Work created by Gob Squad, but we want to show the interaction with books. Books in the University Library are interacted with every day, but privately, whereas we want to highlight this human interaction publicly.



Borges, Jorge Luis (1998) “The Library of Babel”, Collected Fictions, Trans. Andrew Hurley, New York: Penguin.

Posted: March 21st, 2013
Categories: Borges, Early Research
Comments: No Comments.

© 2018 Babel. Hosted by University of Lincoln Blogs.