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Jorge Luis Borges' classic short story, The Library of Babel, is set in a universe that is entirely "composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries" (Borges 19). This endless library contains books that comprise every possible combination of 22 letters of the Latin alphabet, plus the comma, the period, and the space. Written in 1941, The Library of Babel has inspired philosophical treatises, mathematical experiments, and artistic and literary homages. Today it reads as a prescient analogy for the seemingly limitless (and inescapable) internet.

Now Borges' vision has been realized in a new way: as The Library of Babble, a free downloadable game that creates a procedurally generated, infinite library you can virtually explore. Can meaning be found in an endless series of hexagonal chambers, filled with randomly ordered books each containing randomly arranged characters and spaces? As Borges himself wrote, "if an eternal traveler should journey in any direction, he would find after untold centuries that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder - which, repeated, becomes order: the Order. My solitude is cheered by that elegant hope" (Borges 36). Explore Borges' vision and see if you can find any meaning or inspiration for yourself.

If you'd rather explore Borges' text, the Meyer Library has a beautiful English translation of the story that features marvelous etchings by the artist Erik Desmazieres.

Works Cited

Borges, Jorge L, Erik Desmazières, Andrew Hurley, and Angela Giral. The Library of Babel. Boston: David R. Godine, 2000. Print.