generated book
3924 pages, 2016

Lexicon Liber Novus, is an algorithmically generated book that starts with a verse from the first of the Two English Poems written by Jorge Luis Borges in 1934.

"We talked and you have forgotten the words."

Following a rule that every word is unknown, the algorithm indexes and explains all the words in the given sentence, all the words in the explanations, all the words in those explanations and so on. First word in the verse starts with an assigned reference to number one, second word to number two and as a new, unindexed word comes up - within the definitions of previously indexed words, it gets the next natural number assigned in order to be explained as well.

Using the order of natural numbers for indexation and arrangement of contents, and an Oxford English Dictionary as a source of word definitions, the book encompasses 47.152 indexed words and more then 2 million processed words overall. Therefore, in order to explain the first 8 words, 47.144 other words needed to be explained as well. Spiral or causal arrangements of the contents means the book can be seen as a self-contained world where every point is intrinsically connected to every other.

Software written by: Jan-Kees van Kampen
Assistance in print preparation: Gabor Kerekes
Printed and supported by: Repro- van de Kamp, The Hague
Hand-binded by: Bronsgeest HABI, Leidschendam