A book to rule them all

The best book ever written is that which has either killed all the books or which all other books are rooted in.

Clearly, the best book hasn’t been written yet.

Bibliocide, or the destruction of books, has occurred only materially. No book, individual, idea or event has been able to destroy any book. Truly.

All attempts to blow a book out of existence and memory have failed. Rulers, priests, political movements have had a go at it, but they’ve merely managed to kill authors, destroy copies, persecute transmitters, and slow down distribution. Which means absolutely nothing in the big picture.

Time has done more destruction, but that doesn’t count as it hasn’t been purposeful. Time kills indiscriminately, which is to say mindlessly, which is to say it simply kills itself. And we’ll probably never know why.

Biblicides have come in many shapes and sizes, but they were never tailor fit. Otherwise they would’ve succeeded in their mission.

Flaubert imagined that one day someone will write a book about nothing. Arguably, this would be a book to kill all books, and kill itself in return. Which would be the end of everything. The end of reason, at least. Or the beginning of something completely different. A book to rule them all, a book to rule over everyone else, to the extent that nobody would ever know that things could have been otherwise.

I think, therefore I am. Why not, we think, therefore we are? It saves us from amnesia, for something preserved in common has a chance of being saved. There is no guarantee in solitude, in single-ness, pace Descartes. Only a moment of loneliness can give rise to such cruel thoughts, world-shattering as they may be. And a book is the opposite of loneliness, a cluster of stars kept together in inescapable gravity.

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