— Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” (via fuckyeahjorgeluisborges)
Kazimir Malevich teaching students of Unovis, Vitebsk, (1925)
dreaming on a softened brain,
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart’s bloody tatters I’ll mock again;
impudent and caustic, I’ll jeer to superfluity.
Of Grandfatherly gentleness I’m devoid,
there’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by – handsome,
мечтающую на размягченном мозгу,
как выжиревший лакей на засаленной кушетке,
буду дразнить об окровавленный сердца лоскут:
досыта изъиздеваюсь, нахальный и едкий.
У меня в душе ни одного седого волоса,
и старческой нежности нет в ней!
Мир огромив мощью голоса,
иду – красивый,
— Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls. (via ivankaramazovs)
One of Brodsky and Utkin’s etchings.
George Mayerle test charts, Schmidt Litho Co., c1907.
"[Mayerle’s] eye chart … combined four subjective tests done during an eye examination. Running through the middle of the chart, the seven vertical panels test for acuity of vision with characters in the Roman alphabet (for English, German, and other European readers) and also in Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew. A panel in the center replaces the alphabetic characters with symbols for children and adults who were illiterate or who could not read any of the other writing systems offered. Directly above the center panel is a version of the radiant dial that tests for astigmatism. On either side of that are lines that test the muscular strength of the eyes. Finally, across the bottom, boxes test for color vision, a feature intended especially (according to one advertisement) for those working on railroads and steamboats"
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons (via blacktout)
— Soren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits (pg. 21, Hong translation)
— The Secret History, Donna Tartt. (via the-library-and-step-on-it)
The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum in the book pages has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance.The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912.
The pages of the codex are vellum. Some of the pages are missing, but about 240 remain. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams.
The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British code breakers from both World War I and World War II.No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography.
The Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is cataloged under call number MS 408.
I touched this book today.
— Jorge Luis Borges (via journalofanobody)
Merciful Heavens! but what do I care for the laws of nature and arithmetic, when, for some reason I dislike those laws and the fact that twice two makes four? Of course I cannot break through the wall by battering my head against it if I really have not the strength to knock it down, but I am not going to be reconciled to it simply because it is a stone wall and I have not the strength.
As though such a stone wall really were a consolation, and really did contain some word of conciliation, simply because it is as true as twice two makes four. Oh, absurdity of absurdities! How much better it is to understand it all, to recognise it all, all the impossibilities and the stone wall; not to be reconciled to one of those impossibilities and stone walls if it disgusts you to be reconciled to it; by the way of the most inevitable, logical combinations to reach the most revolting conclusions on the everlasting theme, that even for the stone wall you are yourself somehow to blame, though again it is as clear as day you are not to blame in the least, and therefore grinding your teeth in silent impotence to sink into luxurious inertia, brooding on the fact that there is no one even for you to feel vindictive against, that you have not, and perhaps never will have, an object for your spite, that it is a sleight of hand, a bit of juggling, a card-sharper’s trick, that it is simply a mess, no knowing what and no knowing who, but in spite of all these uncertainties and jugglings, still there is an ache in you, and the more you do not know, the worse the ache.”
— Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground (via thiscorrosion)
— Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices (via sunrec)