1. Pacal's Pensées was a book published originally in 1660. In this translation, it exists in my computer as a countable string of text. Its physical meassurements, if there is such a thing for digital content are as follows:
146 printed pages
277,215 letters (no spaces)
339,465 letters (including spaces)
2. To cut up a book is to pantomine reading it; for what happens to the neat linear string of letters, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters of a book once read? It is all scattered like wet leaves in the damp autumn wind of the brain. Some words are lost completely. Some ideas stick together damply in clumps. It doesn't matter what you do; rake that book into neat mental piles or leave it to be forgotten entirely, it will never be that neat string again. Rereading reminds or reastonishes or rebores. Nothing can put that book back together again. Not even the fiercest memorization can protect the shortest of paragraphes from our neurochemistry. There is only the quantum particulate of mind: chance, whimsy and charm...
3. No firm pre-determined scheme was used to decide where to cut. The largest grouping are in the generally in the 20 envelopes (one per arrondisessement) but these too vary greatly in length. The smallest unit is a single word, althought certain words such as a and I function both as words and letters.
|memoria hospitis unius diei praetereuntis*
372. In writing down my thought, it sometimes escapes me; but this makes me remember my weakness, that I constantly forget. This is as instructive to me as my forgotten thought; for I strive only to know my nothingness.