Comparative Literature Ph.D., Librarian of Babel

The cover of the book Tar for Mortar: The Library of Babel and the Dream of Totality by Jonathan Basile. It consists of a beehive pattern of interlocking hexagons, the floor plan of the Library of Babel.
Available in English and Portuguese translation

“Basile [...] has written a brilliant book about Borges — that would be enough of a great thing for me — which also has important things to say about intellectual ambition, irony, language, and the things that the Digital Humanities can and cannot reveal.” -Steve Mentz

The cover of the book Massa Por Argamassa, Portuguese translation of Tar for Mortar. It consists of the title in a black hexagon, over a picture of a material like broken asphalt.

The Epic of Genesis: Catherine Malabou and the gêne of Epigenetics

Derrida Today, 16(2), Nov 2023

Symbioautothanatosis: Science as Symbiont in the Work of Lynn Margulis

Síntesis: Revista de Filosofía, 4(2), 2021

Other Matters: Karen Barad's Two Materialisms and the Science of Undecidability

Angelaki, 25(5), Sep 2020

Kant's Parasite: Sublime Biodeconstruction

CR: The New Centennial Review, Winter 2019

Massa por Argamassa: A “Biblioteca de Babel” e o Sonho de Totalidade [Portuguese Translation of Tar for Mortar]

punctum books [Open Access], August 2019

Life/Force: Novelty and New Materialism in Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter

SubStance, 48(2), August 2019

How the Other Half-Lives: Life as Identity and Difference in Bennett and Schrödinger

Postmodern Culture [Open Access], 29(1), September 2018

The New Novelty: Corralation as Quarantine in Speculative Realism and New Materialism

Derrida Today, 11(2), November 2018

Borges y Yo, Eiron y Alazon: Irony in “The Library of Babel” and “Pierre Menard”

Variaciones Borges, 46, November 2018

Misreading Generalised Writing: From Foucault to Speculative Realism and New Materialism

Oxford Literary Review, 40(1), July 2018

Tar for Mortar: “The Library of Babel” and the Dream of Totality

punctum books [Open Access], March 2018

Review: Derrida, Jacques. Life Death

Philosophy Today, 65(2), Spring 2021

Review: Stijn De Cauwer, ed. Critical Theory at a Crossroads: Conversations on Resistance in Times of Crisis

Environmental Philosophy, 16(1), Spring 2019

Review: Biodeconstruction: Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences, by Francesco Vitale

Critical Inquiry, October 2018 (online), Autumn 2019 46.1 (print)


jonathan [dot] e [dot] basile [at] gmail [dot] com

Curriculum Vitae


minor literature[s], 8.24.2016


Litro, 1.24.2016

Derrida and the New: Deconstruction, Speculative Realism, and New Materialism

A summary of The New Novelty

Edinburgh University Press Blog, 11.19.2018

You Don’t Know Jacques: Speculative Realism, New Materialism, and the Denial of Deconstruction

A summary of Misreading Generalised Writing

Edinburgh University Press Blog, 6.15.2018

Striking Resemblances

UIUC graduate workers’ action is part of a nationwide movement

Public Books, 4.5.2018

Excerpt from Tar for Mortar

Blog of the APA, 3.19.2018

Review: Stolen Oranges by Max Yeh

minor literature[s], 3.2.2018

Borges and Philosophy

Blog of the APA, 2.21.2018

Translating Babel

Inventory, Winter 2017

Publish It Yourself: The End of Alienated Labor in the Academic Publishing Industry

Berfrois, 11.7.2016

Derrida’s Seminars: Writing Before Writing Before the Letter

3:AM Magazine, 9.12.2016

Who’s Afraid of AAARG?

Academic publishing and the uncertain future of the humanities.
Guernica, 8.25.2016 | 中文, 微批 Paratext, 10.4.2016

Putting Borges’ Infinite Library on the Internet

Electric Lit, 6.21.2016,
Note: The editor chose the title, thus the erroneous "infinite"

On Exactitude in Maps

On Borges and Distant Reading
Territory, 5.4.2016

(Re)Creating Borges’ Library of Babel

kadar koli 10: Off the Books, 1.23.2016

Construir La Biblioteca de Babel. Entrevista con Jonathan Basile

Nexos, 8.23.2015
Published in Perfil, 8.16.2015, Print only

The Library of Babel as Seen from Within

The Paris Review Daily, 7.23.2015

Brooklyn Author Recreates Borges’ Library of Babel

Flavorwire, 4.23.2015
Note: I was living in DC at the time.

Borges’ “Library of Babel” comes to virtual life

Los Angeles Times, 4.29.2015

Jorge Luis Borges’ “Library of Babel” Is Now a Real Website. Borges Would Be Alarmed.

Slate (browbeat), 4.30.2015

Virtual Library of Babel Makes Borges’s Infinite Store of Books a Reality - Almost

The Guardian, 5.4.2015

Jorge Luis Borges fan brings his infinite library to life online

The Independent, 5.4.2015

La “biblioteca totale” di Borges realizzata al pc

La Stampa, 5.22.2015

Jorge Luis Borges’s infinite “Library of Babel” has been digitized

Quartz, 7.7.2015

El bibliotecario de Babel: la ficción de Borges hecha realidad virtual

La Nacion, 7.23.2015

This Digital Library Contains Every Phrase That Could Ever Be Uttered

Smithsonian Magazine, October 2015

How Do You Design a UX for Infinity?

Co.Design, 12.18.2015

Il a créé la bibliothèque infinie

Paris Match, 7.3.2016

Borges, esencial para el presente

Excelsior, 5.24.2019
Note: Most of the quotations here are the opposite of what I said in the interview

Babel ou la bibliothèque infinie, regorge de textes qui n'existent pas encore

Sciences et Avenir, 7.26.2020

Universal Library Modeled after Borges’s

Babel Image Archives

Universal Image Archives algorithm/code

Open Source on GitHub External Resource Locator

Browser Extension: Chrome | Firefox | Safari

Messages For the Future

VSauce Explains the Algorithm

El universo, que otros llaman la biblioteca...

TEDx USagradoCorazón, 10.16.2015


Recess Art, 11.9.2015

Borges’ “The Library of Babel”

Modified English translation

Unpublished di Giovanni Translations (design by Dan Visel)

The Garden of Branching Paths | The Maker