Thursday, April 7, 2011

Borges week two option one revision

One day a purifier was elated to find among a row of nonsensical ramblings a book containing the letter ‘A’ with differing placements of spaces. Next to it this purifier found a book that was very similar (the first hundred or so pages only had capitol A’s with random spaces placed between them. He flipped through these books once. Twice. By chance a word glared back at him.

AAThe answer is in the next bookAAAA A A A AAAAA A A A AAA AA AAAAA AAAA AAAAAAAAA

This man had a jolt run through his heart. Certainly no one had ever found any references to some sort of answer among all these pages. Among all these books. Among all these shelves. Indeed it was exceedingly rare to find any discernable text among the labyrinth of text. He did not believe what he read. He stashed the book and retired for the evening. When he awoke he remembered what he possessed and decided to test this prophecy. He voyaged into a far off room he was sure he had never been before and selected a book from the self. The cover was nothing special:


It was just like any other book he had ever seen. He hesitated. He was afraid of opening the book and finding nothing. He thought aloud: “What could this book possible answer?” He turned the cover and on the first page several words again caught his eye:

Himmanalsina.msdfawe,seio.Anything you ask.jjjjjjjjwasmaowenamoyn,,,

The past two days had been the biggest achievements in the human race until that point. This man knew he was on the level of a living god. The library was finally opening to reach out. To share its secrets. He did not wish to tell anyone for fear for his safety. He knew there were some who might kill just to hold the two books he had found. Anything you ask. Surely the library did not have answers to all the things he might want to ask of it. “How did the library come to be?” “Can we ever understand the library completely?” “What does it mean to completely understand the library?” He had to be careful with his next question. He decided to start small. If he were truly a God he did not have to rush into it. “What is two and three?” He thought that he might journey to another section of the library a hundred stories upwards. Then he decided that where he stood was good enough and picked up the book that lay next to the book that read Anything you ask. He turned the cover and did not have to look past the first four letters to know he had become part of history:


Now it was time for him to truly test the library. He faced a shelf and looking towards the rows of books demanded: Why is the library here? He closed his eyes and reached for a book directly in front of him. He ignored the gibberish that made up the title on the cover. The first page and indeed every page thereafter had the same text scrawled upon it:

The library is here for the same reason that you are here. It is eqasdually probable that it should be here and it shasdluandlasdugouldnt. It is equally probable that you would beeee here or you wouldn’t. The library is, was, and will always beikliskiel,cvmbokodp,lgkudks,vc,kfkklgjfkfkjgklkfkgkgjf.

This answer only confused the man. He did not understand the response but was trembling by how lucid it had been. In two days time mankind had gone from one or two random words and phrases to entire, intelligible paragraphs. The man asked the library a question that had been burning in his mind since he had found the answer book, “Library, why me? Why are you speaking to me?” Again he grabbed a book and looked for the next answer:

It is eafaeeequally probable that you waaould pick up this book, or any other book. One will have an answer eventually.

Again the man could not understand what the library was trying to tell him. He spent the entire day asking questions of the library and getting prompt discernable responses. Sometimes the spelling was off or the grammar could use improving. One time he thought he had lost his gift but it turned out that the answer to his question was written backwards from the last page to the front; it had been his brother who ate his stored rations of food the other week. The man ran from one floor to the next choosing at random which book to get his next answer from. The man was convinced that on that day mankind and the library were having their first conversation.

(Everyone has always wanted to know; is the library infinite?
There is no end to the letters, to books, to shelves in this library.
Why do so many books on the shelves lack words?
There are no words on these pages. Only Letters.
If there are no words then how can people read?
You see only the patterns among letters, this you call words.
But the library put them there on purpose?
Nononoononnnonnnono. No.No.nonono.
So why are there words on these pages?
It is probable for there to be words.
It’s probable? Why can I understand these words?
It is probable that you would make patterns of these letters.
I don’t understand. Why am I here then?
You are here like the words are here. It was probable that letters would form words.)

The man gave up. He would ask one more question and return to share his news. He knew he could not keep his secret for long. His final question to the library was the ultimate question on any librarian’s lips: Where is the one book that makes sense of all other books? Where is the library’s catalogue? The next book he opened had the following text. It was the last time the library would answer any of the man’s questions:

There is no catalogue. There is no way to catalogue the infinite. It is infinitely random.

The man returned his home again and showed them the books with the words he had found. Slowly his legend grew. Many tried to get him to repeat his feat again but to no avail. With time his legend grew and with most legends enough time passed until people began to doubt he ever existed. The books he found were demolished in skirmishes thousands of years after his death. Thousands of years later he was just a rumor. Eventually a small girl stumbled upon a book in her travels with a message among the gibberish:


She almost did not spot the phrase. Askmeaquestion? The girl had never heard of the man before her who other men had called a God. She asked the library the same questions. The responses were sometimes similar and sometimes completely different. Like the man she too became a God in her time and her answers were heralded as the truth much as the man’s before her.

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