Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the Invisible Library

Ed Park, the author of last year's acclaimed Personal Days, is also a blogger. This morning, he wrote an article for the LA Times about his new blog, the Invisible Library.

Ed and another avid reader friend started the Invisible Library as a catalog for fictional books. That is, books that don't actually exist that characters in novels read.

A noble (or at least whimsical) cause! Although I don't believe two men can do it alone. I plan to go forward in my life with the Invisible Library always at the back of my mind, cataloging imaginary books as I go.

For example, Ed, what about Aristotle's Comedy, which is featured in Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose? Or does that not count because it might have existed, but we'll never know?

via Sarah Weinman


Crimogenic said...

There's the mention of a few fictional books in one of my novels. In writing I love naming stuff, people, places, etc and naming fictional books is just down my alley.

JES said...

What a great idea for a site.

Writers' practice of writing about fictional works, I've often thought, comes from the fact that it's first and foremost fun: you get many of the pleasures of writing a book, and none of the accompanying angst and neurosis (and requiring, of course, a tiny fraction of the time investment).

Stanislaw Lem once wrote an entire book of reviews of non-existent books, called A Perfect Vacuum. Man, I was jealous I hadn't thought of that first.

JES said...

P.S. Oh, duh -- remind me to follow links and read linked articles first: A Perfect Vacuum is mentioned right at the outset of the LA Times piece!

Briane P said...

That IS a great idea for a site-- as people who read The Best of Everything have known since 10/30/08:


Anita said...

I'll keep the "fictional works" site in mind and let the fellows know if I come across any they're not aware of.

And, hey, I just started a blog today. You can get there from my profile. Thanks to all who have time to visit!

peggy said...

maybe we should write that fictional book, then it will be reality :)
Is life wonderful or what! LOL

Marie said...
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Marie said...
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Charles Gramlich said...

That's a cool idea. I've got to check it out. Can I assume he got the Necronomicon, and the King in yellow?

writtenwyrdd said...

Strange idea. I like it!

annathepiper said...

That's an unbelievably cool idea for a blog. I can think of several things that ought to be in it! :)

Usman said...

Fictional books in Fiction.
Of course there was the black (was it black) book in Orwell's 1984.

Jill Myles said...

That's kind of cool! Weird, but cool.

Hermester Barrington said...

I’m so pleased to see that the idea of a catalogue of books that exist only in other books is generating such interest. My first encounter with this concept took the form of Mr. Brian Quinette’s catalogue, defunct since 2006, alas. Fortunately, however, an archived copy exists here:

Archive of the Original Invisible Library by Mr. Brian Quinette

Mr. James Hay has also preserved Mr. Quinette’s work, and added to it himself, here:

Mr. Hay's archive of & additions to Mr. Quinette's Invisible Library

le_trombone has created another catalogue as well:

The Invisible Library, Live Journal Branch

Finally, my wife Fayaway and I have created our own branch of the invisible library at Malibu Lake, CA; the catalogue can be found here:

Malibu Lake Branch of the Invisible Library

I hope that everyone reading this will email the curator of at least one of these catalogues in order to preserve this highly entertaining and increasingly useful information—doubt not, o archivists, but persist!


Hermester Barrington,
Chief Archivist, Law Offices of Petty, Smilodon, & Ruth (ret.)