Last modified on 4 August 2014, at 17:44

Labyrinth

There's no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

The Labyrinth (Greek λαβύρινθος labyrinthos) of Greek mythology, was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos, to hold the Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull which was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but some people observe a distinction, using maze to refer to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction, and using labyrinth for a single, non-branching (unicursal) path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.

For the 1986 fantasy film see Labyrinth (film)

QuotesEdit

I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
The minotaur more than justifies the existence of the labyrinth. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Reason is Life's sole arbiter, the magic Laby'rinth's single clue:
Worlds lie above, beyond its ken; what crosses it can ne'er be true. ~ Richard Francis Burton
A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world. ~ Rebecca Solnit
  • Damn it, how will I ever get out of this labyrinth?
    • Simón Bolívar, in a statement made in the last months of his life, occasionally said to be his last words, and portrayed as such in The General in His Labyrinth (1990) by Gabriel García Márquez, as translated by Edith Grossman, p. 267
  • I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "The Garden of Forking Paths" in The Garden of Forking Paths (1942)
  • A labyrinth of symbols… An invisible labyrinth of time.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "The Garden of Forking Paths" in The Garden of Forking Paths (1942)
  • Ts'ui Pe must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "The Garden of Forking Paths" in The Garden of Forking Paths (1942)
  • In the work of Ts'ui Pên, all possible outcomes occur; each one is the point of departure for other forkings. Sometimes, the paths of this labyrinth converge: for example, you arrive at this house, but in one of the possible pasts you are my enemy, in another, my friend.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "The Garden of Forking Paths" in The Garden of Forking Paths (1942)
  • There's no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "Ibn-Hakim Al-Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth", in The Aleph (1949); tr. Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (1998)
  • The minotaur more than justifies the existence of the labyrinth.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, in "Ibn-Hakim Al-Bokhari, Murdered in His Labyrinth", in The Aleph (1949); tr. Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (1998)
  • I wanted to create a labyrinth which would somehow help to prevent a compositional idea from establishing itself all too quickly. I had the idea of working on all the walls pretty well at the same time,as if they were one large painting completely surrounding me. By constantly wandering in the labyrinth I sought to realise a form of “de-composition”
  • The very scientist who, in the service of the sinful king, was the brain behind the horror of the labyrinth, quite as readily can serve the purposes of freedom. But the hero-heart must be at hand. … Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.
  • If he is to choose the path of magic then he must choose responsibly, he must know enough about the labyrinth to walk a true path through it.
  • I thought that I had found my way to the center of the Invisible Labyrinth; and I had — perhaps — discovered no more than the entrance. Watch my dust.... There is no walking backwards, and I am lost in the Labyrinth Invisible. I cannot retrace my steps. I wrote my name on the wall of the Invisible Labyrinth. I was so diligent in my studies; gave my whole time and heart to the pursuit. I wrote my name but I can find it no longer; My ashes blow like dust around the Invisible Labyrinth.
  • She said, "It's not life or death, the labyrinth."
    "Um, okay. So what is it?"
    "Suffering," she said. "Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?...Nothing's wrong. But there's always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there's a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It's the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.
  • You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you'll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.
  • I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man’s destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth... I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish.
  • My peak? Would I even have one? I hardly had had anything you could call a life. A few ripples. some rises and falls. But that's it. Almost nothing. Nothing born of nothing. I'd loved and been loved, but I had nothing to show. It was a singularly plain, featureless landscape. I felt like I was in a video game. A surrogate Pacman, crunching blindly through a labyrinth of dotted lines. The only certainty was my death.
  • The difficulty in dealing with a maze or labyrinth lies not so much in navigating the convolutions to find the exit but in not entering the damn thing in the first place.
    Or, at least not yet again.
    As a creature of free will, do not be tempted into futility.
  • A labyrinth is a symbolic journey … but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world.
  • This is one of the two great labyrinths into which human minds are drawn: the question of free will versus predestination.
  • "You mentioned . . . one of the two great labyrinths into which the mind is drawn. What . . . is the other?"
    "The other is the composition of the continuum, or: what is space?"
  • Where he had failed, I would triumph.
    Where he had lost his way, I would find the path out of the labyrinth.

External linksEdit

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