Welcome to The Aleph

“It’s in the cellar under the dining room,” he went on, so overcome by his worries
now that he forgot to be pompous. “It’s mine — mine. I discovered it when I was
a child, all by myself. The cellar stairway is so steep that my aunt and uncle
forbade my using it, but I’d heard someone say there was a world down there. I
found out later they meant an old-fashioned globe of the world, but at the time I
thought they were referring to the world itself. One day when no one was home I
started down in secret, but I stumbled and fell. When I opened my eyes, I saw the

“The Aleph?” I repeated.

“Yes, the only place on earth where all places are — seen from every angle, each
standing clear, without any confusion or blending. I kept the discovery to myself
and went back every chance I got. As a child, I did not foresee that this privilege
was granted me so that later I could write the poem. Zunino and Zungri will not
strip me of what’s mine — no, and a thousand times no! Legal code in hand,
Doctor Zunni will prove that my Aleph is inalienable.”

I tried to reason with him. “But isn’t the cellar very dark?” I said.

“Truth cannot penetrate a closed mind. If all places in the universe are in the
Aleph, then all stars, all lamps, all sources of light are in it, too.”

“You wait there. I’ll be right over to see it.”

- from "The Aleph", by Jorge Luis Borges

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