Beneath the metadata lie animals and other beasts

November 21st, 2006

We’ll see Elaine Peterson one Borges and raise her another…

“These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled ‘Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge’. In its remote pages it is written that the animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.”

The analytical language of John Wilkins, in Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Other inquisitions 1937-1952′ (University of Texas Press, 1993)