At the begining of The Order of Things Michel Foucault refers to a "certain Chinese encyclopedia" quoted by J. L. Borges, in which the animal of the world are catalogued. "Animals," he says, "are devided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) suckling pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies"
This list [...] gives Foucault the chance to enter into a discussion of the ways of organizing "things" within a given historial period [...] the example from Borges may be said to be heterotopic.
Here, we find ourselves face to face with a true and proer "heterotopia". Thus, one of the first definitions assigned to this word is given by Foucault as follows:
Utopias afford consolation: although they have no real locality there is nevertheless a fantastic, untroubled region in which they are able to unfold; they open up cities with vast avenues, superbly planted gardens, countries where life is easy, even though the road to them is chimerical. Heterotopias are disturbing, probably because they secretly undermine language, because they make it impossible to name this and that, because they shatter or tangle common names, because they destroy "syntax" in advance, and not only the syntax with which we construct sentences but also that less apparent syntax which causes words and things (nert to and opposite to another) to "hold together".
K. Michel Hays: Architecture Theory Since 1968. The MIT Press, 2000. pp 298, 299.