The Books of Bokonon
Selected extracts from the Books of Bokonon are here presented. It is not known how many books Bokonon ultimately wrote, though they number at least fifteen.
The First Book of Bokonon
Apearing on the title page: "Don't be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!"
The book commences:
Bokonon says of his first book: "Of course it's trash"
- All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
In the beginning, God created earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.
"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.
"Certainly," said man.
"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God. And He went away.
The Sixth Book of Bokonon
All that we know of this book is that it is devoted to pain, in particular to tortures inflicted by men on men. Bokonon speaks of the hook, the rack, the peddiwinkus, the iron maiden,the veglia and the oubliette. Bokonon writes:
- In any case, there's bound to be much crying.
But the oubliette alone will let you think while dying.
The Seventh Book of Bokonon - "Bokonon's Republic"
All that we know of this book is that it concerns itself with utopias.
In it, Bokonon writes:
The hand that stocks the drug stores rules the world.
- Let us start our Republic, with a chain of drug stores, a chain of grocery stores, a chain of gas chambers, and a national game. After that we can write our Constitution.
The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon - "What can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"
This is the only book which we have in its entirety. It's contents are as follows:
The Final Book of Bokonon
We have only the final sentence, which reads:
- If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.
A parable on the folly of pretending to discover, to understand
It is not known, in which Book this parable appeared, but it reads as follows:
I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or what was going to be.
And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things."
"Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God," I said," and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand."
She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than he liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm she screamed. She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing.
It is not known, in which Book this cosmogony appeared, but Bokonon writes:
Bokonon describes his cosmogeny as a "Foma!, A pack of foma!"
Borasisi, the sun, held Pabu, the moon, in his arms, and hoped that Pabu would bear him a fiery child.
But poor Pabu gave birth to children that were cold, that did not burn; and Borasisi threw them away in disgust. These are the planets that circle their terrible father at a safe distance.
Then poor Pabu herself was cast away,and she went to live with her favourite child, which was Earth. Earth was Pabu's favourite because it had people on it; and the people looked up at her and loved her and sympathised.