Marco Filoni

Geology of a Library. Notes on the Order of the Books from Aby Warburg to Livio Sichirollo

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Aby Warburg’s Idea of the Order of Books; Library and Simbolic Forms; Philosophy and Orientation; Livio Sichirollo

Is there a right way to order the books on the shelves? The question might appear bizarre but you better not underestimate it: it is in fact a crucial topic, “highly metaphysicalµ, as Roberto Calasso put it: he even wondered why Kant never wrote an essay on that. To tackle this topic becomes essential to tackle an even more fundamental question: what is the order? Through the practical and theoretical considerations of a wide range of intellectuals – from Aby Warburg to Livio Sichirollo, but also Walter Benjamin and Umberto Eco – this paper investigates Kant’s idea of a direction in the order of the books. There is indeed an historiographic reason to reflect about the order of the books since in the Western culture, from the beginning of the Christian era, the book has always been one of the most powerful metaphors to represent the world, cosmos and existence. The book has always been the perfect tool to read the world: that’s why, on the other hand, it is important to study how mankind has been speculating on the various aspects of the books, including their physical appearance and their order in the libraries

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