LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE FANTASTIQUE: The library with all the books

By Amanda García . September 26, 2012


La Bibliothèque Fantastique is made of books that have been disrespectful to other books. In this virtual and free of rights library-publisher, most of the times, the authors (who sometimes are fake) take the cover of a book by another author and carry on with their own content. Although originals can also be found sometimes. They explain that “the books are produced with bits and pieces from other books, developing a discourse on the ontology of the book. This project seeks to examine the nature of the book by submitting it to the approaches similar to those used by minimalist artists to test the limits of painting and art. The purpose of LBF is to explore the boundaries of what is a book and what is not”.

Everything here is very French, very French, very French, except for how young Antoine Lefebvre welcomes us to the site, mimicking a Zack Morris style gag. “Oh! Hi, guys! I hadn’t realised you were already here”, would say the character to the camera before telling us what it’s all about. Apart from that, La Bibliothèque Fantastique is a project that gathers many of the debates which originated in French thinking (the archive as source, the value of uniqueness, the importance of representation, culture and simulation, the society of the spectacle), starting off with the same approach as the homonymous text La Bibliothèque Fantastique, in which Michel Foucault proves how Flaubert’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony would establish the 20th-century literature of references (France, France, France).

The reference of the reference, the copy of the copy, until you reach the photocopy and –even more modern– home digital printing. And that’s what this site is all about: downloading and printing our own books; for free. The pleasure you get is huge when you know that what you have printed –with all the gravity of paper carved with ink– could or could not be the original, be or not be a lie, but in the end be no more than information that will stir in us some sort of idea. It’s a beautiful confusion if we can, at last, start to lose some of that fear we have to the solemnity of books, just like La Bibliothèque Fantastique has done. But never dropping the work that’s serious, valuable and filled with references, with precious information. I only hope that Antoine Lefebvre is not offended if he thinks I have been disrespectful by comparing him to Zack Morris.

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