Book Report on The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borge: An Undying Desire of Obtaining New Knowledge

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Library of Babel by the author Jorge Luis Borges brings a short story about an unusual library and the man who works there. This library has a unique aspect that makes different from the normal libraries. Surrounded by countless gibberish books and unknown librarian, Borges metaphorically uses these two aspects of the library to connect to the human behavior. One of this most important behavior that Borges mentions is the persistence to find the knowledge. Even questions about human existence are still persistent nowadays. It is important to analyze this behavior because creates a false perception in how we can see the world and solution.

Books are not just a piece of paper where people randomly write on it. There is a meaning behind for the book. People are not required to have a PhD to write a single book. It is about to express their feelings through their manipulation of words. This can be intentionally or not. Because of that we have different types of books from different authors. The concept of infinity library developed by Borges brings this idea of having infinitely meanings. Thus, a single word can be interpreted by different meanings from people around the world. In the short-story, Borges uses an example of people identifying different languages from their perspective. “… the first librarians, employed a language quite different from the one we speak today” (Borges 114) “… our language devolves into dialect and that ninety floors above, it becomes incomprehensible.” (Borges 114).

By using the term “ninety floors” and the concept previously mentioned about the library, Borges metaphorically explain the language is constantly changing as comprehension over the meaning of the language as well. The more language expand, become less meaningful for us. Thus, allowing create a false perception that whether we understand or not. Likewise happens when the decipher tries to know the language of the book when “he showed his find to a traveling decipherer, who told him that the lines were written in Portuguese; others said it was Yiddish.” (Borges 114)

When the failure achieves on the process for search the knowledge, various emotions comes into the person. In addition, the infinity of possibility of solutions would only oppose in what librarians try to do achieve the knowledge. Borges mentioned “To locate book A, first consult book B, which tells where book A can be found; to locate book B, first consult book C, and so on, to infinity…” (Borges 117). The term “infinity” represents what the future is. The countless numbers of changes in which humans changes the language according to their necessities. For example, constantly changes on languages. Many of Western languages that exist today is because of alphabet from Latin. However, the significance does not come with it. This prevents that new generation of people have the benefit from this knowledge.

As the Borges states, “If the honor and wisdom and joy of such a reading are not to be my own, then let them be for others. Let heaven exist, though my own place be in hell. Let me be tortured and battered and annihilated.” (Borges 117). When the Borges uses the sentence “a reading are not to be my own” and “let me be tortured”, the assumption of overwhelming is implicit on those sentences. The sentiment of confusion and unawareness trigger the person when the solution is not exactly what the person wants.

When the emotions becomes a factor of the decision maker, it’s affect on how the person receives the information. According to the research published by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, one of the factors that the process in how we human beings store the information is related to how we react when we process the information. [1] This support in what today’s issue is going through. In academic field, for instance, the desire of surrender often happens at students when the challenges become an obstacle on their life. This becomes an important issue when the emotions surpass the sense of judgment. Decision made by temporary mood affect the permanently the decision. As Borges mentions “I believe I mentioned the suicides, which are more and more frequent every year. I am perhaps misled by old age and fear.” (Borges 118). This quote address about the issue of many people suiciding. It has becoming more and more cases because this was the only way for those who couldn’t find the answer for their problems and believing that suicide is the only hope. As a comparison of the Library of Babel has a “ventilation shaft” (Borges 112) in the middle of library as an opportunity to death and the books to hope.

It’s imminent that the human beings always wanted to have possibility to obtain all information in our brain. However, this is not possible because inside of the brain there are many different structures that has it owns functions. For example, memory, learning, perception and thinking. In addition, the constant number of new information is growing for each day. According to the research published by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, when an information is deposited in our brain, an electrical connection is made between a structure inside of the brain called synapse. [1] Millions of synapse continuously happen in our brain. This connection goes to their respectively section in the brain. For example, if you talks to someone, electrical connection is made between the part of brain which is responsible for communication.

In addition, depending in how the person reacts to the information received, it can be strong or weak. This connection is factor that determines how long the information could long. However, when this information is not used in our brain, this connection weakens itself. This makes what Borges’s library infinity. Humans born, information is added from people which later becomes a book, humans die, and more information is added from people then becomes a cycle of repetition again. In addition, the ambition from people in the library to seek the answer for everything makes the person forget that we humans have a biological limitation in terms of store information.


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