Friday, April 13, 2007

Into the Labyrinths

One of my favorite writers, William Gibson (the man who coined the word "cyberspace"), has a new novel coming out soon, but in the meantime he's using his blog to tease fans with lots of juxtapositions that achieve his artistic goal of showing how "reality" is actually as whacked-out
as any science fiction or fantasy novel. Here, he pits a scholar's take on Karl Rove's incredible, insane interest in the G.W. Bush library against Borges, with the Argentian's vision being the far less lunatic and frightening.

The Bush Library Blog

The Bush people, they told me, have been scoping out research facilities, taking a look at how institutions try to set themselves up to house both archival records open to a wide range of researchers and provide a productive working environment for fellows. The person leading this effort was nobody other than Karl Rove. . . . Rove is personally going around to these libraries, meeting with their directors and checking out their facilities. According to one colleague, he seems to know exactly what the square footage of the building will be and where it will be located on campus. . . . The Bush administration's continued political collapse... makes the library-museum-institute complex all the more valuable to the Bush people: especially after the crushing defeat in the last Congressional election, the complex may be all that they will have left to leverage to secure their place in history.
Jorge Luis Borges:
It was two years since I had discovered, in a volume of a pirated encyclopaedia, a brief description of a false country; now, chance was showing me something much more valuable, something to be reckoned with. Now, I had in my hands a substantial fragment of the complete history of an unknown planet, with its architecture and its playing cards, its mythological terrors and the sound of its dialects, its emperors and its oceans, its minerals, its birds, and its fishes, its algebra and its fire, its theological and metaphysical arguments, all clearly stated, coherent, without any apparent dogmatic intention or parodic undertone.