05 May 2016

from The Analytical Language of John Wilkins (Jorge Luis Borges)

These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies recall those which Dr Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its remote pages it is written that the animals can be divided into:

(a) belonging to the emperor,

(b) embalmed,

(c) tame,

(d) sucking pigs,

(e) sirens,

(f) fabulous,

(g) stray dogs,

(h) included in the present classification,

(i) that tremble as if they were mad,

(j) innumerable,

(k) drawn with a very fine camel hair brush,

(l) et cetera,

(m) having just broken the water pitcher,

(n) that from a long way off look like flies.

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