Jonathan Basile: Fictional Archives, Archival Fictions

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Jonathan Basile: Fictional Archives, Archival Fictions

Friday September 11th, 8—10pm

A lecture and discussion exploring the online universal library, libraryofbabel.info

ONE NIGHT ONLY — libraryofbabel.info is a virtual recreation of an idea that has inspired philosophers and poets from the Ancient Greek Atomists to Jorge Luis Borges. By permuting a complete set of letters and punctuation, one can arrive at every possible utterance, including past and future literary masterpieces and day to day conversations. We will gather to consider together how the concepts of presence and absence, invention and discovery, and novelty and repetition can be undermined by the universal library, and how any archive can exist without physical form, embedded in the essence of language.

Jonathan Basile is a fiction writer, philosopher, and computer programmer. He created an online universal library (https://libraryofbabel.info/) and universal image archive (https://babelia.libraryofbabel.info/). He has written about his work in Flavorwire (http://flavorwire.com/515783/brooklyn-author-recreates-borges-library-of-babel-as-infinite-website) and The Paris Review Daily (http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/07/23/the-library-of-babel-as-seen-from-within/).