New Criticals

Recall the Borges epigraph in "Plato’s Pharmacy": "of the various schools of thought in ‘Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’  one has declared “that all time has already transpired,” a second that “the history of the universe…is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon,” and yet a third claiming that the universe “is comparable to the cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid.” [4]* The machinations of the universe are communicative, but secret, in nature. Not quite a cryptograph. The cryptograph is a piece of coded writing; cryptography the art or science of writing in code. The code must be logical and referential – it needs to correspond. The universal cryptograph of Tlon, though, would be an encrypted cryptograph without a cipher. A broken code. Not a cryptograph at all.