LIDUAM PONG /// Power of the Book: Clandestine Libraries in Cuba & Infinite Ones in Borges’s Work


This conversation with Liduam Pong is primarily based on the essay she wrote for the first volume of the Funambulist Papers (Punctum Books, 2013). She was describing in it her experience growing up in Cuba where some books were considered as subversive and thus forbidden. This interdiction was followed by the creation of informal clandestine libraries for people to access these books. We therefore speak about the political power a book contains within a simple object, and attempt to understand this power through indirect political means, through the reading of Jorge Luis Borges’s literature and his quest of the infinite.

Liduam Pong is a New York-based architect who lived in Cuba until 1992. She is interested in labyrinths and their working documents, investigating their false doors, oblique mirrors and elucidating threads. In July 2012, she wrote a text entitled “Open Stacks” for The Funambulist Papers series.



– “Open Stacks” (July 2012) for The Funambulist Papers: Volume 1 (Punctum Books, 2013)


– Virgilio Piñera, La Isla En Peso: Obra Poética, Marginales 187, Barcelona: Tusquets Editores, 2000.
– Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, New Directions, 2007.
– Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Sand, Penguin Classics, 2007.
– George Orwell, 1984, Signet Classic, 1950.
– Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451. Simon & Schuster, 2002