Posted by: yogavet | September 19, 2005


On a study break (haha, who am I kidding…) I rediscovered a book on my shelf: Schott’s Original Miscellany, a wonderful little book with all sorts of completely random and mostly useless information. I. Love. This. Book. My friend Debi gave it to me for christmas one year, I haven’t flipped through it in a while. So tonight I open it up, and find this entry:

A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia

“Although possibly an elaborate literary joke, one of the most curious lists is that quoted (and perhaps invented) by J.L. Borges. In one of his essays (made famous by Michel Foucault), Borges claims that Dr. Franz Kuhn discovered a ‘certain Chinese encyclopedia’ entitled “Celestial Empire of Benevolent Knowledge”, which stated that all animals can be classified thus:

a. belonging to the Emperor
b. embalmed
c. tame
d. suckling pigs
e. sirens
f. fabulous
g. stray dogs
h. included in the present classification
i. that shakes like a fool
j. innumerable
k. drawn with a very fine camel-hair brush
l. etcetera
m. having just broken the water pitcher
n. that, if seen from a distance, look like flies”

Aaah, yes. Now that I’ve stopped wooping (“and after all that, after all wooping…”) I’ve got to get back to studying for this blasted immuno exam. But that list has cheered me up considerably 🙂


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