“You who read me, are You sure of understanding my language?”
“I know of a wild region whose librarians repudiate the vain superstitious custom of seeking any sense in books and compare it to looking for meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's hands . . . They admit that the inventors of writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but they maintain that this application is accidental and that books in themselves mean nothing. This opinion - we shall see - is not altogether false.”
“The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries.”
“Let heaven exist, though my own place be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated, but let there be one instant, one creature, wherein thy enormous Library may find its justification.”
“The library will endure; it is the universe. As for us, everything has not been written; we are not turning into phantoms. We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and our future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.”
“The certitude that everything has been written negates us or turns us into phantoms. I know of districts in which the young men prostrate themselves before books and kiss their pages in a barbarous manner, but they do not know how to decipher a single letter. Epidemics, heretical conflicts, peregrinations which inevitably degenerate into banditry, have decimated the population. I believe I have mentioned suicides, more and more frequent with the years. Perhaps my old age and fearfulness deceive me, but I suspect that the human species -- the unique species -- is about to be extinguished, but the Library will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret.”
“The Library is a sphere whose exact centre is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible.”
“If honor and wisdom and happiness are not for me, let them be for others. Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell.”
“There are official searchers, inquisitors. I have seen them in the performance of their function: they always arrive extremely tired from their journeys; they speak of a broken stairway which almost killed them; they talk with the librarian of galleries and stairs; sometimes they pick up the nearest volume and leaf through it, looking for infamous words. Obviously, no one expects to discover anything.”
“I cannot combine some characters
which the divine Library has not foreseen and which in one of its secret tongues do not contain a terrible meaning. No one can articulate a syllable which is not filled with tenderness and fear, which is not, in one of these languages, the powerful name of a god. To speak is to fall into tautology.”
“Como todos los hombres de la Biblioteca, he viajado en mi juventud; he peregrinado en busca de un libro, acaso del catálogo de catálogos; ahora que mis ojos casi no pueden descifrar lo que escribo, me preparo a morir a unas pocas leguas del hexágono en que nací. Muerto, no faltarán manos piadosas que me tiren por la baranda; mi sepultura será el aire insondable; mi cuerpo se hundirá largamente y se corromperá y disolverá en el viento engendrado por la caída, que es infinita.”
“I remained standing in the middle of the room, swaying on my feet as though I had received a blow. I thought of my life and saw what it had been. No one could swim against such a current of mud. I had been a man so horrible that he could have no friend. But wasn't that, I asked myself, because I had always been incapable of wearing a disguise? If all men went through life with unmasked faces, as I had done for half a century, one might be surprised to find how little difference there was between them. But, in fact, no one lives with his face uncovered, no one. Most men ape greatness or nobility. Though they do not know it, they conform to certain fixed types, literary or other. This the saints know, and they hate and despise themselves because they see themselves with unclouded eyes. I should not have been so universally condemned had I not been so defenseless, so open, and so naked.”
“Cuando las personas que amamos, o aquellas por las que sentimos una profunda conexión, dejan de preocuparse por nosotros, de prestarnos atención, de invertir tiempo o de luchar por la relación, la confianza empieza a esfumarse y se abren las heridas. La desconexión desencadena vergüenza y nuestros peores temores: el temor al abandono, a no ser merecedores, a no ser dignos de ser amados. Lo que hace que esta traición encubierta sea mucho más”
“Though we can never be fully pure in body, we can be fully pure in heart. Half black, half white, half evil, half good, we are all the same, struggling to find our path in this seemingly never-ending chasm of darkness. And may we one day reach the light we so eagerly seek, knowing that the freedom from darkness may only come when we shine our own light upon others.”
“The Lord is at hand; 6[†] r do not be anxious about anything, s but in everything by prayer and supplication t with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And u the peace of God, v which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Ask Americans “How similar are you to others?” and on average they will answer “Not very.” Ask the same question in reverse—“How similar are others to you?”—and their judgment of similarity increases noticeably.
The two answers should be exactly the same because the questions are, in essence, identical, but we manage to delude ourselves, just as we all claim to be above average or wholly unsusceptible to social influence. Time and time again, each one of us assumes that he or she stands out. What is it that makes us believe we’re more unique than everyone else?”
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