Borges Dungeon

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1,

The universe (which others call the dungeon) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings.

From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors. The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty cages, five long cages per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal [Weird Fantasy Monster.Main] case. One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest. To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets. In the first, one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one's fecal necessities. Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soars upwards to remote distances.

In the hallway there is a mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances. Men usually infer from this mirror that the dungeon is not infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite ... Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps. There are two,transversally placed, in each hexagon. The light they emit is insufficient, incessant.

Like all men of the dungeon, I have traveled in my youth; I have wandered in search of a [Weird Fantasy Monster.Main], perhaps the catalog of catalogs; now that my eyes can hardly decipher what I write.

I am preparing to die just a few leagues from the hexagon in which I was born. Once I am dead, there will be no lack of pious hands to throw me over the railing; my grave will be the fathomless air; my body will sink endlessly and decay and dissolve in the wind generated by the fall, which is infinite.

I say that the dungeon is unending. The idealists argue that the hexagonal rooms are a necessary from of absolute space or, at least, of our intuition of space. They reason that a triangular or pentagonal room is inconceivable. (The mystics claim that their ecstasy reveals to them a circular chamber containing a great circular [Weird Fantasy Monster.Main], whose spine is continuous and which follows the complete circle of the walls; but their testimony is suspect; their words, obscure).

This cyclical [Weird Fantasy Monster.Main] is God. Let it suffice now for me to repeat the classic dictum: The dungeon is a sphere whose exact center is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible.

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