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In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub

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A Letter in solidarity with Library genesis and Sci-Hub

In Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s tale the Little Prince meets a businessman who accumulates stars with the sole purpose of being able to buy more stars. The Little Prince is perplexed. He owns only a flower, which he waters every day. Three volcanoes, which he cleans every week. “It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them,” he says, “but you are of no use to the stars that you own”.

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Library.nu R.I.P

Amongst the competing visions of heaven offered by the various prophets and saints, my favourite remains the one conjured by St. Alberto Manguel. For him, heaven is a place where you can read all the books that you did not finish. It would be difficult for me – proud member of the tribe of bibliophiles- to imagine a better idea of paradise than this. I would even hazard a bet that many of you fellow tribe members would probably imagine yourself in this other world (with enough time) curled up in a  comfortable sofa, opening a copy of Joyce’s Ulysses for the 28th time – saying finally this time.

But even within the order of the saints, one must respect the subtle rules of hierarchy and pecking order, and by that count St. Manguel would have to make way for the highest ordained of them all- the blind seer who saw everything- Jorge Luis Borges, who had much earlier been granted a vision of paradise and he declared that it was shaped like a library.

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