The bibliography of nowhere

The Invisible Library is a collection of phony books and phony authors invented by real authors for their real books. Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, John Irving and John Crowley are all here, along with lesser-known fabulations such as Isaac C. Parker, the Famous Border Judge cited by Mattie Ross in True Grit.  

But there are curious omissions. Unless I’m missing something, H.P. Lovecraft — who, along with his circle of correspondents, concoted a library annex worth of bogus titles — is represented only by the Pnakotic manuscript — no Necronomicon, let alone any of the ancillary texts created by Robert E. Howard and the rest.    

On the other hand, there is The King in Yellow. And while I know haven’t kept up with the Dune series (read the bulky first novel and stopped halfway through Dune Messiah, which at one-third the length seemed three times as long) I’m still surprised to see how many books Princess Irulan churned out about Muaa’Dib: she worked that Atreides boy harder than Carlos Castenada worked Don Juan.

Now a London art gallery is hosting a show of 40 books from the Invisible Library. The dust jackets glimpsed in the photos don’t seem particularly inspired. Looks like a job for the Internet.

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