That Book You’re Writing? It’s Already Been Written.

This seems to be impervious to fire, so I'll choose to ignore it

You read that right. The book / article / essay / blog post (including this one)/ email / love letter / hate mail / poem / note to self / grocery list / laundry list / gibberish you’re writing HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN.*

Not only that, but every book / article / essay / blog post / email / love letter / hate mail / poem / note to self / grocery list / laundry list / gibberish you’ve written in the past, or will write in the future, HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN (or written again, for past writings).*

Not only that, but EVERY POSSIBLE VERSION (typos, rearrangements, and such) of every book / article / essay / blog post / email / love letter / hate mail / poem / note to self / grocery list / laundry list / gibberish HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN.*

And it’s all cataloged in an evil library.

An explanation from the evil archive: “At present it contains all possible pages of 3200 characters, about 104677 books. …any text you find in any location of the library will be in the same place in perpetuity. We do not simply generate and store books as they are requested – in fact, the storage demands would make that impossible. Every possible permutation of letters is accessible at this very moment in one of the library’s books, only awaiting its discovery.”

Go ahead. Search any text you make up on the spot for yourself. IT WILL ALREADY BE IN THERE.

By the way, happy NaNo-ing to those participating (in writing something that’s already been written).

Here’s what inspired this soul-punting abomination:

So your (and my) Great American Novel is already floating around in this infernal library in every possible version in 3200-character chunks. I’m gonna stop driving this home because it’s making me queasy.

*In English, in 3200-character chunks, using the 26 letters of the alphabet, the blank (space), the comma, and the period.

In other news, here’s the highlight of my container gardening this year:

…and every possible description of my pomato is in the damn thing.

Who knows when I will write another blog post which HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN. ARGH.

Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. I don’t get it, CM. It hurts. I’ve selected random segments from my latest post and searched for them, and it has brought back exact matches on different pages… but different pages of what? And where? And when I’ve used the search within random text, it has brought the results back, within totally random text. I don’t get it. It hurts… and is this comment in there also? Eek!

    (Good to see you posting again, by the way! 😀 )

    • My every possible reply to your comment is in there, Tom, including this one. Within the post-stipulated parameters. Flip me over and pedal me sideways. Thank you for commenting on my Library of Babel-archived blog post. Flubba-dee-dubba-wubba. The dashes within this reply aren’t in there, but they shoe as heel are spelled out.

      I’m not even gonna look up the above. I already know it’s in there.

  2. That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard. *rolls to the floor and lies staring blankly at the ceiling while mumbling in best Vogon voice* “What’s the point?”


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