In Jorge Luis Borges’ story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” a scholar describes the mysterious planet of Tlön to the reader. 1 Among many seemingly strange customs, this otherworldly realm has radically different practices of authorship than those we wrestle with in the contemporary United States and beyond, which emphasizes contract and copyright law. Contestation over intellectual property and bickering over disciplinary distinctions are nonexistent in Tlön. Borges writes:

Within the sphere of literature, too, the idea of a single subject is all-powerful. Books are rarely signed, nor does the concept of plagiarism exist: It has been decided that all books are the work of a single author who is timeless and anonymous. Literary criticism often invents authors: It will take two dissimilar works-the Tao Te Ching and the 1001 Nights , for instance-attribute them to a single author,

authoringtheoccupation and then in all good conscience determine the psychology of that most interesting homme de lettres … 2

The encampments of the Occupy Wall Street movement during Fall 2011 in the urban centers of United States and elsewhere were not akin to Tlön, but the discursive strategies they established and sustained were radically different from those of the larger culture that either ignored, watched, supported, disapproved, or fi nally stood by while the police lay siege to these encampments. In particular, the ways in which occupiers communicated with others in public meetings appeared to be a radical break from modes of address that celebrate the speaker and author and restrict the auditor’s participation to clapping (or booing). Listening became visible and audible and authorship became collectivized, scrambled. The manner in which ideas were expressed became more important than the person who spoke or wrote them. The movement eschewed leaders, which meant that they also eschewed current constructions of authorship. Even as many prominent intellectuals, activists, and actors were welcomed when they came down to lend a hand, they were there to donate their ideas to reinforce the movement’s ideological foundations; they weren’t there to promote books or fi lms. As in Tlön, there was only one author, yet this author was not solitary or unitary, but multiple. Seemingly, the promise of intertextuality was realized: no one could claim ownership over acts of enunciation, and no one claimed originality. Discourse was not sourced in occupied spaces and texts bore no signature, yet lending libraries grew within occupied sites. No contracts were signed: a faraway land indeed, but also accessible by way of public transport.