Tuesday, May 23

a highly suspect ancient chinese encyclopedia listing of animals

I rather think this is bogus, but it begs the question: where do you put a fabulous stray chihuahua that is trembling and just broke your flower vase?

In The Analytical Language of John Wilkins (El idioma analĂ­tico de John Wilkins), Jorge Luis Borges describes "a certain Chinese encyclopedia," the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, in which it is written that animals are divided into:

  1. those that belong to the Emperor,
  2. embalmed ones,
  3. those that are trained,
  4. suckling pigs,
  5. mermaids,
  6. fabulous ones,
  7. stray dogs,
  8. those included in the present classification,
  9. those that tremble as if they were mad,
  10. innumerable ones,
  11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
  12. others,
  13. those that have just broken a flower vase,
  14. those that from a long way off look like flies.