Words, words, words taken out of place and mutilated, words from other men — those were the alms left him by the hours and the centuries.
— From The Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges.
In the topmost drawer of his desk the aged librarian keeps a treasured manuscript. A palimpsest of rented words, a ledger inherited from all librarians before him — their (and his) immortality in ink — an epic legacy of ash and bone, the book of all the books, the breadcrumbs left to guide him through the syntax labyrinths of Homer, Plato, Kafka and Cervantes.
Once when he was young he thought it was a nonsense farce, a parody of spoof; bot now he’s seen that it is wisdom sieved from labyrinths of text. A maze with keys that only a librarian keeps.
As young he was explorer and a pilgrim, he thought he was unique, he even thought of leaving for the outside world but once the manuscript got hold of him, he became its gardener, pruning and perfecting the legacy of everything and nothing.
The manuscript has been written, and rewritten, it’s been translated, it’s been interpreted. It’s the wildfire and pestilence of books that chain librarians to libraries. The manuscript is manifold, an infested manifesto. The manuscript is curse and blessing of the written world.
Linking to Tuesday Platform at toads.
December 26, 2017