Biblioteka Betel


The essay starts with Borges and his unsurpassable account of the Library of Babel, interpreted as an ad hoc allegory of the humanistic erudition and its close affiliation with gnosis or, more precisely, its modern variety. The latter is conceived here as described by Eric Voegelin. The humanistic ideal of knowledge, in a manner of speaking, ‘immanentises the eschaton’ by the sheer fact of lending it a form, ‘visualised’ by Borges as the Library of Babel, a ‘gnostic’, inner-worldly equivalent of the Beyond. In a typically modern fashion, the Library replaces the mystics with aesthetics. The transcendental figure of Christ is reduced to an all-too-human figure of Narcissus. And yet, somehow, there is more to books than just words. By reading Ovid in the light of Plato, the essay penetrates and reflects the dual, ambivalent nature of the humanistic − or, shall we say, humane − pursuit of knowledge, gnostically ‘narcissistic’ and platonically ‘Christian’ at the same time. It is only then, at the close of the essay, that we are back with Borges: “Through this space [the Library] [...] there passes a spiral staircase which winds upward and downward into the remotest distance”. Deep within the periodically infinite Library of Babel, there lurks another one − the Library of Bethel − Jacobean, transcendental, surreal.

Słowa kluczowe

Babel; Betel; humanistyka; modernizm; gnoza

Bachtin, Michaił. Twórczość Franciszka Rabelais’go a kultura ludowa średniowiecza i renesansu, trans. Anna Goreń, Andrzej Goreń. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1975.

Borges, Jorge Luis. „Ficciones”. In Obras Completas, vol. 1 1923–1949. Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores, 2007.

Borges, Jorge Luis. Fikcje, trans. Andrzej Sobol-Jurczykowski, Stanisław Zembrzuski. Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2003.

Fränkel, Hermann. Ovid. A Poet between Two Worlds. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1945.

Galinsky, Karl. Ovid’s Metamorphoses. An Introduction to the Basic Aspects. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975.

Hardie, Philip. Ovid’s Poetics of Illusion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Hudry, Franc¸oise, ed. Liber XXIV philosophorum. Turnhout: Typographi Brepols Editores Pontifici, 1997.

Insulis, Alanus de. „Regulae de sacra theologia”. In Patrologia Latina, ed. Jacques Paul Migne, vol. 210. Paris, 1855.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Typy psychologiczne, trans. Robert Reszke. Warszawa: Wrota, KR, 1997.

Lanham, Richard A. The Motives of Eloquence. Literary Rhetoric in the Renaissance. New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1976.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Surowe i gotowane, trans. Maciej Falski. Warszawa: Aletheia, 2010.

„Liber Genesis”. In Nova Vulgata. Bibliorium Sacrorum Editio,–vulgata/documents/nova-vulgata–vt–genesis–lt.html#28 (acc. 30.03.2018).

Loos, Adolf. Ornament i zbrodnia. Eseje wybrane, trans. Agnieszka Stępnikowska-Berns. Warszawa: Fundacja Centrum Architektury, 2013.

Naso, Ovidius Publius. Metamorphoses, ed. William S. Anderson. Leipzig: Teubner, 1977.

Plato. Phaedo, ed. John Burnet. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1911.

Plato. „Symposium”. In Parmenides. Philebus. Symposium. Phaedrus. Alcibiades I, II. Hipparchus. Amatores, ed. John Burnet. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1901.

Voegelin, Eric. W poszukiwaniu porządku, trans. Michał J. Czarnecki. Warszawa: Teologia Polityczna, 2017.


Opublikowane : 2019-07-04

Kuligowski, P. (2019). Biblioteka Betel. Prace Filologiczne. Literaturoznawstwo, (9(12) cz.2), 127-141.

Paweł Kuligowski 
Wrocław  Polska

Copyright (c) 2019 Paweł Kuligowski

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