The Book of Sand: A Hypertext (2001)

This site, created in 2001, is a hypertextual version of Jorge Luis Borges' story "The Book of Sand". The story itself offers a prophetic metaphor for the internet: a mysterious book, whose pages are infinite, randomly numbered, and ever-changing. In this presentation, the story has been augmented with animated illustrations in the style of vintage engravings, as described in the narrative. And the text has been broken up into fragments, whose order must be pieced together by the reader. Transformed for the web, "The Book of Sand" takes on new dimensions of metafictional resonance.

Full Description

The site presents Borges’ story “The Book of Sand”, as translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni, in eight fragments, randomly numbered. A simple HTML + Javascript interface allows the reader to use contextual clues to reconstruct the proper sequence of the story, submit their proposed ordering, and (if correct) add their name to the register of the “Borgesian Order of Omnibibliological Kabbalists” (B.O.O.K.).

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2001
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Wednesday Jan 9th, 2013
  • Original Url: http://bookofsand.net/hypertext/
  • Work Credits:
    • Maximus Clarke, site concept, design, coding, animation
    • Jorge Luis Borges, author of original text
    • Norman Thomas di Giovanni, translator of original text
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