BA & MA GMD alumnus, Jaya Modi, has had her final year book project accepted by Torchlight Journal for their 11th issue – Libraries in Film and Literature.

Jaya describes her approach to the project:

It was so exciting for me to be able to talk about one of my favourite projects from university – where I responded to Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel, by creating a set of booklets that attempted to encapsulate his ideas and creations from the story.

When I first read the story, admittedly, I was confused – but upon reading it again a few times, I was entirely enamoured by his magnificent library, lost in the winding descriptions of space, time and nothingness. Over time, I continued to ponder the possibilities of such a library – its architecture now curiously reminiscent of the way the internet works today – yet somehow I find the library in Babel a lot more comforting, a mapped place rather than an endless abyss.


To keep pace with the austerity of the text, I chose a geometric style of illustration. Borges’ described the library as made up of infinite hexagons, so I worked with simple shapes imposed on top of each other in different opacities, as an attempt to evoke the limitless and recurring expanse of the library.

I tried to give the reader a feeling of hopeless inaccessibility by hiding images between the French folds of the book. The type throughout the books reassembles the original text, but it has been rearranged to signify new meanings, an interpretation of cyclicality and totality taken directly from Borges’ idea of the books in the library encompassing every possible combination of the alphabet. Finally, the selection of paper reflects the lack of light described in the fabled library; with its darker yet mildly translucent properties, the print on the paper is present, yet somehow insufficient.

Full Torchlight article: