The Ziggurat of Ur, Dhi Qar Province, Iraq, 21st c. BC
Photos: Getty Images, 2011
"From the remote depths of the corridor, the mirror spied upon us. We discovered (such a discovery is inevitable in the late hours of the night) that mirrors hare something monstrous about them. Then Bioy Casares recalled that one of the heresiarchs of Uqbar had declared that mirrors and copulation are abominable, because they increase the number or men. I asked him the origin of this memorable observation and he answered that it was reproduced in The Anglo-American Cyclopaedia, in its article on Uqbar.
A few days later he brought it. This surprised me, since the scrupulous cartographical indices of Ritter’s Erdkunde were plentifully ignorant of the name Uqbar.
The tome Bioy brought was, in fact, Volume XLVI of the Anglo-American Cyclopaedia. On the half-title page and the spine, the alphabetical marking (Tor-Ups) was that of our copy but, instead of 917, it contained 921 pages. These four additional pages made up the article on Uqbar, which (as the reader will have noticed) was not indicated by the alphabetical marking.” — Jorge Luis Borges, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”