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Pretensão extra

OK, isso são umas paradas que eu escrevi faz um tempo. Como desculpa furada pr'elas serem em inglês, tenho a declarar que li Sandman demais. Se bem que pra essa desculpa valer, podia ter sido escrito em castelhano.

Amanhã voltamos à programação habitual.

Imaginary libraries

A library of slaves. Each slave has tattoos indicating what book they hold, and has to teach it to a new slave.

A library of burnished steel sheets. The sheets make noises as the wind rattles through them, and by this noise a patron has to find his, as no one with sight is allowed inside. The words are embossed upon the steel.
Why only the blind are allowed is unknown. Some think the glow of the steel would blind men; others that the get of the God of War stalk the library, padding soundless after men.

Orc libraries made of carved bones - and by ancient custom, each subject for a book needs the bones of a specific beast. Refutations must be carved into jaws, bestiaries in shoulderblades, original books in skulls.

Elf-libraries, with codexes made of spider silk, beautifully calligraphed, but never illustrated, with hoops around the spine so they can be hung on tree trunks.

Libraries made out of carefully trained and bred songbirds, who pass the songs to their offspring; each clutch holds a chapter, each book is a cage.

Titanobibliotheke - A vast, fallen building of marble and basalt. The shelves, taller than a tower, are made of ebanon. The books are scrolls, eight times the height of a man, closed in cases of whalebone and dragon's ivory. They are made of papyri and written in gold. A community of scavengers stripes the gold letters away from the papyrii. Sometimes, they will trigger one of the titanic spells - this has made them deformed, and the land around blasted, so that they have no other choice at making their livelihood than keeping to their mining.

The library of the Gods. - Downwind from the library of the Titans, sits the library of the Gods.

It's a small library. The gods don't read much. They only have uses for practical texts - for spells curing godly ills, for recipes to filters of godly love, for exorcisms and texts which teach how to turn gold into lightining. The crown of the collection are the texts stolen from the library of the Titans. Those are set in the middle, in a great pillar of levinglass. (The gods have forgotten how to read the Titanolingua. They adore the books with superstitious dread. Some fear their owners will come back from Tartarus to claim them.)

Beyond the pillar, broad avenues of marble, with many trees on their sides, radiate outwards. Pegged to the trunk of each oak tree is a bronze tablet. Those are the books, written in a close script. Longer books have oak copses to them.

The gods do not lack for space.

The library beneath the sands. -They say Genghis Khan dreamt of a world devoid of cities; where barbarian children would not perceive any boundaries, riding through the emptiness. Some say Temujin, Lord Absolute, dreamt of destroying the very mountains, of turning the world into a vast Steppe.

What they do not know is that Temujin's lover, Farrukhnaz, a Persian princess, extracted a vow from him. That if someday the children of the steppe ever wanted to return to civilization, and buld anew cities more glorious than those he razed, they would have a library ready.

This was a solemn oath. It was made by Genghis Khan at the Boundary of Heaven, and over the tomb of Khan Kaigalak. All his descendants were bound by it, world without end, even to after the Doors of Felt were forever closed and the vault of the stars fell. It forced them to build, under the sands of the Gobi desert, a great vault, vaster than any treasure-trove ever described in the thousand and one nights, and to it add everything ever written by men, and more.

The books flowed in, quick and thick as the arrow-storm of a Mongol invasion. In the first years, the cavernous walls were filled with precious ornamentation. Books inlaid with ivory and diamonds, written in fine Byzantine porphyrovellinum, comissioned from the finest calligraphers of Baghdad and Hangzhou. As the Yuan dinasty, the Golden Horde, Chagatai, all met their fates, the descendants of the Throne Absolute got poor, but they kept their vow - all books that were written were added, and more. Now common print editions were added, now note paper scribbled copies. Organization was not forgotten - the order of librarians Farruknaz created laboured on, eating of subterranean carp, drinking the waters of a still lake, serene morlocks.

A tenth of the library's shelves, steel between diorite vaults, have been filled so far.

The best hidden library. - An old beggar pushes a supermarket cart around. The beggar is Auberon, the cart holds the fine vellum scrolls wherein the souls of the fair folk are kept. Thus is Hell fooled.

The traveler's library

No one knows who the librarians are, or how they move. But a few people, those to whom travel is a mode of life, will find a library card to their name, be it on the floor of a cargo wagon on which they've hopped or next to the glass of Mumm the stewardess brought them.
Afterwards, they will start finding books. These books are most useful, or completely useless. They have one thing in common, though - they are all books about places. Travel guides, atlases, itineraries - some of them have been published by people who don't exist. These books will appear as mysteriously as the membership card, and the travelers know they can be returned by leaving them at the counter of an airport bookstore, or that of a diner off the expressway, or at the feet of the railroad guard.
Sometimes, the books will feature places that don't exist. You can travel to these, too. The price for a Lufthansa ticket to Ruritania (from Frankfurt) is 567.€.

Vagina Dentata

In an old temple to ninhursag, there is a cuneiform library. I do not know what is there, for any man who steps in the entrance has the sides of the temple close about him, crushing him to death. I have seen the librarian; she is a tall woman, her skin is white as alabaster by moonlight and the colour of burnished gold by day. One of her breasts has been cut off, and she put out my eyes.

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