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Technologies of Culture: Encyclopedia

"Circular knowledge is the justification of any encyclopedia…"- Maurice Blanchot

"This is an age of intellectual sauces, of essence, of distillation. We have 'conclusions' without deductions, 'abridgments of history' and 'abridgments of science' without leading facts. We have 'animals' for literature, 'Cabinet' Encyclopaedias, 'Family' Libraries, 'Diffusion' Societies, and heaven knows what else! What is all this for? Not to add knowledge to the learned, but to tell points to the ignorant, without giving them the trouble to acquire the links. Oh! It is sad work. And the result will be injurious to all classes."- Benjamin Haydon

"In everything that relates to science, I am a whole Encyclopaedia behind the rest of the world."- Charles Lamb

"I go into my library, and all history unrolls before me. I breathe the morning air of the world while the scent of Eden's roses yet lingered in it, while it vibrated only to the world's first brood of nightingales, and to the laugh of Eve. I see the pyramids building; I hear the shoutings of the armies of Alexander."- Alexander Smith

"Unlike seventeenth-century hermetic polymathy- mounding up esoterica and seeking to establish a summa of strange data- the scientific lexicon systematically culled, ordered, and classified. It did not merely amass but encouraged the making of connections. In that sense, these modest and even portable rational codifications adumbrated the multivolume and gargantuan Encyclopedie or Dictiononnaire raisonne of Diderot and D'Alembert."- Barbara Maria Stafford

"Who shall limit the useful or determine the superfluous?"- Henry Fuseli

"Museum- According to the Grande Encyclopedie, the first museum in the modern sense of the word (that is to say the first public collection) would seem to have been founded on 27 July 1793, in France, by the Convention. The origin of the modern museum would thus be linked to the development of the guillotine."- Georges Bataille, Encyclopedia Acephalica

"But how is one to make a scientist understand that there is something unalterably deranged about differential calculus, quantum theory, or the obscene and so inanely liturgical ordeals of the precession of the equinoxes."- Antonin Artaud

"But an encyclopedia worthy of the name cannot trouble itself with realistic considerations."- Encyclpedia Da Costa, eds. Robert Lebel & Isabelle Waldberg

"In so far as language can represent all representations it is with good reason the element of the universal. There must exist within it at least the possibility of a language that will gather into itself, between its words, the totality of the world, and, inversely, the world, as the totality of what is representable, must be able to become, in its totality, an Encyclopedia."- Michel Foucault

"The volume which Bioy brought was indeed volume XLVI of The Anglo-American Cyclopedia. On the title page and spine, the alphabetical key was the same as in our copy, but instead of 917 pages, it had 921. These four additional pages consisted of the article on Uqbar- not accounted for by the alphabetical cipher, as the reader will have noticed. We ascertained afterwards that there was no other difference between the two volumes. Both, as I think I pointed out, are reprints of the tenth Encyclopaedia Britannica."- Jorge Luis Borges, Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

"There can be no encyclopedia without translation. But what is translating? Is it possible to translate? Is not translating, that singular literary act, what not only enables the encyclopedic work but at the same time prevents it, threatens it? Translating, the bringing into 'work' of difference."- Maurice Blanchot