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Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge

 

Rope Walk Press

 

In "The Analystical Language of John Wilkins," Jorge Luis Borges describes a mythical Chinese encyclopedia, the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, that divides all plants and animals into fourteen wonderful, fanciful categories as a means to refute the precise and scientific linguistic structure of those, like Wilkins, who had long sought to produce a universal language. In his new chapbook, Jeffrey Thomson uses the categories of the Celestial Emporium to create a poem sequence that brings Borges's encyclopedia to life, exploring the way metaphor, memory, and desire combine to rewrite and alter the human experience.