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    The Omniscient Book

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    The Omniscient Book

    By David Misialowski

    Oct. 3, 1991, San Francisco

    This morning I fed yellowcake to the pigeons in the park. They strutted about like diplomats, obsequiously bobbing their heads up and down at my feet as if I were a potentate to whom they were presenting their credentials and paying homage. But sometimes they cocked their heads and scrutinized me with their beady little eyes, as if they wanted to tell me a secret. Yet they never spoke. As always, the eyes of the statues followed me. Perhaps I am under surveillance, but why? I love America, the land of the free, and would never harm her.

    I saw Nadia again last night. Nadia! A Slavic name. She occupies the room down the hall. I must get her aside and tell her, as a friend, that her skirts are too short.

    Whenever she sees me coming, she seductively twitches her nose. I know what she is after! But whenever I walk up to her, she always closes the door in my face. Strange!

    I confess I do not understand women: for a long time in Poland I practiced celibacy while I studied for the priesthood, before renouncing God and profaning a statue of the Virgin Mary in Warsaw.

    By dark routes I wound up in Moscow as a spy, and I was able to buy my freedom from the crumbling Soviet bloc by selling fissile materials to a shadowy group in Afghanistan for a small fortune. I assumed that the Afghans, who called themselves jihadists, planned to use the yellowcake to fashion nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Army, then in its waning days of occupying Afghanistan. Unfortunately, that never happened.

    Now I am in San Francisco in a cheap hotel, but the money is running out. It turns out that in the land of the free, one is free to starve in the street. Who knew? At night, the foghorns reproachfully low my name: “Veee-toooold … Veee-toooold…”

    What are they trying to tell me?

    Oct. 20, 1991

    Today I had an extraordinary experience.

    I came across a bookstore called “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books.” But the place was dirty and dim, with a cranky old man behind the counter.

    I found a fat black book. Written in bold, gold letters across the front of it were the words, “Book of Predestynaski.”

    Predestynaski!

    I am Predestynaski.

    Witold Predestynaski.

    I opened the book, and turned to the first page. I read:

    Oct. 3, 1991, San Francisco

    This morning I fed yellowcake to the pigeons in the park.

    I was poleaxed. It was my diary entry of Oct. 3. More: I quickly ascertained that the book was all about me; it had all my diary entries reproduced for the last couple of weeks, since I started keeping my diary.

    Around Page 50, I read this:

    Oct. 20, 1991

    Today I had an extraordinary experience.

    “Buy or fly!” the old man behind the counter snarled.

    I flew out of the store in terror, went home and scribbled in my diary:

    Oct. 20, 1991

    Today I had an extraordinary experience.

    Nov. 11, 1991

    Ran into old Moses Maimonides up in North Beach. We had lattes.

    “Moses,” I said. “How can you be here in North Beach, having a latte? You’ve been dead for centuries.”

    “I suppose I am immortal through my work.”

    “What are you reading?”

    It was the racing form.

    “What horse do you like?”

    He pointed to name, a very long one:

    “Does God know or does He not know that a certain individual will be good or bad? If thou sayest ‘He knows’, then it necessarily follows that that man is compelled to act as God knew beforehand he would act, otherwise God’s knowledge would be imperfect.”

    And that’s the problem!

    If God knows in the past that in the future, I, Predestynaski, will sell yellowcake to jihadists, then I must sell it -- whether I want to or not.

    For if I did not sell it, then God would be wrong; but God cannot be wrong about anything, and still be God.

    But because God’s knowledge of the future is absolute, all human activities are necessitated by His knowledge. Men are mere puppets: no free will. Thus there can be no moral accountability, and religious belief is useless. No one can be blamed for anything: they should empty the prisons! Even Hitler’s Holocaust was morally indifferent, for God’s foreknowledge of it, and not Hitler’s actions or intentions, had made the Holocaust happen.

    Thus was I forced to renounce God and give up my priestly aspirations, for it was not possible to worship that entity Who is the author of all iniquity. He sold the yellowcake, and not I!

    As it is written in Isiah 45:7: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

    Earlier I spotted Nadia. She wrinkled her nose at me and I said, “Nadia! Let’s discuss the fraught problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge with human free will!” But she closed the door in my face. From Nadia, nothing.

    I guess she’s not very intellectual.

    Here is my problem: It seems that the Book of Predestynaski in the bookshop contained an exact reproduction of all that I had written up until now. What is more, it is fat: evidently thousands of pages long.

    Reasoning inductively, I must conclude that the rest of the book contains an infallible account of the future history of my life: the parts of my diary that I have yet to write. If so, then the book itself is omniscient.

    If like God the book is omniscient, then I am unfree, for all my future acts have already been infallibly written down. But I must be free; the desire for freedom motivated my escape from the Soviet bloc!

    Wait, I will test my theory. I will keep my diary for a month or so, and then compare it with the book in the store.

    Dec. 13, 1991

    I went back to the bookshop, found the damned thing and read past Page 50 and there they were: all of my previous diary entries for the last month.

    “Buy or fly!” the old man behind the counter snarled.

    Back in my room, I brooded. Finally I slapped my knees and said: “Witold! The book is either God Himself, or God’s revenge. Perhaps it is His punishment for my renunciation and profanation.”

    Concluding that the book is the infallible chronicle of my life, it now behooves me to attempt to prove that free will can indeed co-exist with divine (or biblio) omniscience. If I can succeed in doing this, then God (or the book) can know everything in advance, and I, Witold Predestynaski, can still be free!

    But, how shall I do it?

    Hm!

    Dec. 24, 1991

    Christmas Eve. The Soviet Union has collapsed! Yeltsin stood on a tank, and now the Hammer and Sickle is being lowered from above the Kremlin! What a glorious day! The end of the damned Reds!

    Still, it means nothing. It was all foreordained by God, if God exists. And if He doesn’t, then what is the basis of morality? Why the Yeltsinites, and not the Reds? Hm!

    No answer.

    Sometimes I think about that yellowcake I sold. I wonder what happened to it.

    No answer to that, either.

    Jan. 5, 1992

    I checked out a lot of philosophy books from the San Francisco Public Library, while making an important discovery: the library has a secret shelf that no one knows about, except for me. It has a nose on it, and one can hide books in its nostrils.

    In addition to Maimonides there is Aquinas, Boethius, Occkam, Molina, Plantinga, pah! Who can follow the labyrinths of their reasoning? Still, it seems that this subject, the problem of reconciling divine omniscience with human free will, also known as the problem of theological fatalism, has been around for ages. But that’s the problem with philosophy! No problem ever gets solved.

    March 26, 1992

    I have solved the problem of theological fatalism.

    I pounded on Nadia’s door, wanting to share my discovery with her. But she did not open it. Oh, I knew she was in there –- I could hear her stirring when I put my ear to the door! But she pretended to be away. Why is that? Maybe, in spite of her overtures to me, she is fundamentally shy?

    “Nadia!” I screamed. “Open the door!”

    “Go away, you filthy pig!”

    Yep, she’s shy, all right. That’s the problem.

    Here’s the solution:

    God’s foreknowledge does not necessitate my action (in this case, selling yellowcake) in the future. Just the other way around! My free act in the present is what necessitates God’s infallible foreknowledge in the past!

    It was not necessary for me to sell yellowcake: in fact, assigning necessity to the consequent of the antecedent, in cases where the consequent is metaphysically contingent, is a logically fallacious move. All that was necessary was the conjoint state of affairs in which: necessarily (if Predestynaski sells yellowcake, then God will foreknow this act).

    Suppose I had declined to sell it? Then: Necessarily, (if Predestynaski declines to sell yellowcake, then God will foreknow that he declines to sell).

    The traditional problem is formulated as: If God knows x in advance, then x must occur. But I have discovered that this is wrong. The proper formulation is: If God knows x in advance, then x will occur. Yes, it will occur, but it does not have to (must) occur!

    Whatever I do the infallible God (and the infallible book in the bookshop) will foreknow, but what I will do is up to me. God’s foreknowledge of our future acts no more forces our actions, than my watching Nadia try to seduce me, forces her to try to seduce me. Freedom!

    May 10, 1992

    Last night I had a nightmare. I was about to sell yellowcake. Suddenly the sky brightened, and the clouds parted. To a blast of horns a host of angels descended from the heavens, flanking a dazzling light that resolved itself into the actor George Burns.

    He was smoking a cigar. Just as he was about to touch down he tripped and fell, landing on his face to a sour blat of the horns. The cigar was mashed, and the angels were chagrined.

    He arose with wounded dignity, clapping the thighs of his trousers to clean them. Then he lighted again his mashed cigar, and sat down on a lawn chair. In his gravelly voice he said with a wistful sigh: “So much for instilling a sense of awe in one of my humble servants, eh, Witold?”

    “God,” I said, “Do you expect me to believe that you have infallible foreknowledge of all future acts, if you can’t even descend from Your heavenly throne, guided by Your heavenly hosts, without falling flat on Your face?”

    “Believe whatever you like,” he said, sounding cross. “You think it’s easy upholding all of creation from nanosecond to nanosecond, across the foggy ruins of time? You try it sometime, Witold, and see if you don’t trip and fall every now and then.” The Lord was snappish.

    “Sorry, Lord.” I was sheepish.

    “By the way,” God said, in his gravelly voice, pointing the cigar at the fissile materials. “With respect to that yellowcake, in just a moment you are going to –-“

    “Wait, wait!” I protested, clapping my hands to my ears. “Don’t tell me! You’ll spoil everything!”

    “Why’s that?”

    “Because I have solved the foreknowledge problem, but now I realize that there is a further problem: the foretell conundrum. If you tell me what I plan to do, and then I don’t do it –-“

    “Yeah?”

    “But that’s impossible, don’t you see! If I defy Your prediction, it would mean either that You are not omniscient after all, in which case You are not really God; or it would mean that You both have, and fail to have, infallible certain knowledge about all future acts, in which case a violation of the Law of Non-contradiction occurs.”

    “I hear they can put you in jail for that,” God observed wryly.

    “The only option that I can see is that whatever you predict to me that I will do, I will do whether I want to or not; so I am back to Square One! No free will!”

    Just then God vanished in a blaze of light and a puff of smoke, leaving behind, on His chair, a pierogi. I saw old Maimonides smirking at me; no doubt he was amused by my presumption in claiming to have solved an ancient philosophical riddle that has bedeviled the best minds in history. He slapped me upside the head, :slap: and I awoke in a cold sweat.

    So my solution to the omniscience/free will problem has been sabotaged, dear Book, but that is not all: I realized that the problem exists in reality, in the form of the Book of Predestynaski in the bookshop.

    Suppose I were to read the future part of it: my as-yet unwritten diary entries. To do so would be to have my future infallibly foretold; but what would happen if I tried to contradict the book’s infallible predictions? In that case, then, why … pah! All this stupid thinking makes my head hurt! :x

    And worse still: last night, while coming home, I stopped on the threshold of the hall, and backed up into the shadows. I watched Nadia escorting some man to her room. He was talking gibberish, in the rapid-fire voice of a life insurance salesman, and she was giggling like a schoolgirl. What’s so funny about life insurance? He had his arm around her waist, too. Why? They went into her room, and I heard her lock the door. Then more of her giggles from behind it.

    Hm! What can it mean?

    May 24, 1992

    Glorious day!

    I have solved the foretell problem, and in so doing reconciled without doubt omniscience and free will.

    The solution is to recognize that it remains logically invalid to assign necessity to the consequent of the contingent antecedent.

    If God had told me ahead of time that I were to sell yellowcake to jihadists, it would still not be necessary for me to do that; all that would be necessary would be for His infallible prediction to match my free act, hence:

    Necessarily (if at time x God tells Predestynaski that Predestynaski will at future time y sell yellowcake, then Predestynaski will sell it at y).

    Suppose I had decided to defy God, and not sell the materials?

    Then, free will would be preserved in one of the following ways: either God would not have disclosed his prediction in the first place; or, if He had, perhaps I would have misunderstood His words, or forgotten them. Either way, I would have gone on to sell the stuff, but would have done so freely.

    What does it mean for the book in the store? It means that my free will shall remain intact, provided that I never read the future part of it.

    Or, if I did read it, and decided to defy its predictions, I would either forget those predictions, or misunderstand them, or –- or something, damn it, would happen to make my actions match the book’s forecasts, without sacrificing my freedom.

    Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. B)

    The new problem, though, is that Nadia and that life insurance salesman are meeting rather frequently in her room. My God, how many meetings does it take to buy life insurance? And why all the giggling? I don’t see what’s funny about life insurance; I think one’s mortality is a fairly grave topic, don’t you?

    Moreover -- let’s face it! –- other men visit her, too. Lots of them! I am beginning to wonder whether Nadia is running some sort of small business out of her room. If so, it would behoove her to dress more professionally, wearing longer skirts. A pantsuit would be best. I wonder what she is selling.

    Now it has occurred to me, Dear Book: I might find out what the future holds for me and my wife to be, Nadia, if I buy the Book of Predestynaski in the bookstore, and … and read my future diary entries in it!

    May 27, 1992

    Today I bought the book.

    “That?” the gnome behind the counter railed with a grimace of disgust. “You want to buy that? It’s some old fool’s diary! I don’t even know how I came by that thing.”

    Some old fool’s diary! If only he knew! By now I had concluded that the book was God Himself, the Word made words.

    “How much?”

    “You can have it for a dollar … no, wait! I’ll give you a dollar, to take it off my hands.” And he did.

    A dollar! The dullard.

    He had paid me to remove God from his bookstore.

    Back in my room, I compared my diary with the book. My diary filled maybe a hundred pages, while the bookstore Book of Predestynaski was enormous. This meant, I decided, that I am destined to live a long time.

    I cracked open God, but then paused, and thought back on my resolution of the foretell conundrum.

    Did I dare test my theory?

    I slammed the book shut. Maybe it was not God –- maybe it was the devil!

    But I opened Him again … and found the page with the latest entry in my own, ongoing diary. Beyond that page lay the future, veiled in mist …

    I thought about Nadia. I had been thinking of paying her a visit, to see if I could help her pick a life insurance policy or at least improve her wardrobe.

    Just a peep, I thought, a quick peep can’t hurt. I read a little way ahead, a few hours into my subjective future: my future diary entries.

    The following words popped out at me:

    …“Nadia,” I pleaded, “Nadia! All the time I see you in the hall, and you give me that come-hither nose twitch, but when I try to respond to your overture, you slam the door in my face! Why, why?”

    What she said just about floored me:

    “I twitch my nose when I see you coming because you stink like a bum in a Dumpster!”

    Then she slammed the door in my face.

    I slammed shut God.

    “Impossible!” I shouted at Him. “You’re lying! That can’t happen! I shower! Sometimes! I’ll prove it’s impossible!” And I burst out of the room, stormed down the hall and hammered on Nadia’s door until she finally opened it and wrinkled her nose at me.

    “Nadia,” I pleaded, “Nadia! All the time I see you in the hall, and you give me that come-hither nose twitch, but when I try to respond to your overture, you slam the door in my face! Why, why?”

    What she said just about floored me:

    “I twitch my nose when I see you coming because you stink like a bum in a Dumpster!”

    Then she slammed the door in my face.

    Shaking with humiliation, I went back into my room and scribbled this traumatic account down in my own diary, and when I finally quit writing I slapped my hand on my forehead and was completely amazed.

    My diary now precisely matches up with the predicted event inside of the book; moreover, the book’s prediction had not forced me to confront Nadia; I had done that freely; indeed without even thinking about it.

    But more: I had only wanted to do what I did -- confront Nadia -- because I had read that I was going to do it! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it!

    Does this mean that if I hadn’t read the book, the entry in it would have been different?

    I swooned, positively paralyzed by the potent poison of paradox.

    Then I realized that, yes, of course, had I not looked inside the book, then its contents would indeed have been different, to correspond with what I actually did, or would do! This fact gave me an eerie feeling, yet it was perfectly consistent with the logic of the whole situation.

    I gazed at God in terror and awe. “It will never do to have you around,” I finally stated with firm conviction.

    I resolved to destroy Him by fire.

    I tucked Him under my arm, left my room and went out into the street. At a vacant lot at the end of the road, I dug a hole in the ground, placed Him in it and took a cigarette lighter from my pocket.

    Just as I was about to set fire to Him, it occurred to me that to immolate Him would be to destroy the universe that He upheld. Consequently, instead of burning Him, I hid Him inside one of the nostrils of the nose that I mentioned earlier, the one on the secret shelf at the San Francisco Public Library.

    Queen Nadia IV

    I showered today, in the communal bath. Then, leaving the shower with a towel tied around my waist, I spotted Nadia in the hall.

    “Nadia!” I cried, reaching for her, which caused the towel to slip from my waist and fall to the floor. “I am clean!” But still she shut the door in my face. There is no pleasing that woman!

    In my room I lay on the bed, watching the weather report on TV. The weatherman is named Edison Clowds.

    “In August” Clowds forecast, “on a Thursday, it will be foggy, foggy, foggy, Witold, and this fog will leave you so depressed that at one minute before midnight, you will …”

    I ran out the door, and into the street.

    A flock of pigeons were eating pierogis. They looked up at me with their beady little eyes. I have known for a long time that they wanted to tell me something, and now the patriarch of this clan warbled, “Where is our yellowcake, Witold, to go with our dumplings? You Russians have a saying: ‘Yellowcake is the beginning of everything.’”

    “I am not Russian, but Polish,” I retorted angrily, but already I was patting my pockets for the yellowcake that I usually keep wrapped in plastic, but found nothing because I no longer had pockets. Then I remembered that I had neglected to dress after showering; I did not even have my towel. I backed away from the pigeons but then the patriarch said, “Predestynaski, it is written that next Wednesday morning, just before 11, you will…”

    Then all the pigeons started flapping their wings and squawking at me, quoting from the Hidden Book; I ran away screaming with my hands covering my ears. The statues that always follow me with their eyes were now moving their lips, trying to tell me what the future held for me; department store mannequins, TV transmission towers and even small children with the voices of adults were reciting passages from the hidden Book of Predestynaski! It seems that in hiding it, I had somehow freed, Pandora-like, its contents. Fortunately, because all of them were reciting different passages from the book, all I heard was white noise.

    But suddenly the foghorns started up: “Veee-told! Veee-tolld! Next Wednesday, you will -–“

    I again clamped my hands over my ears and began loudly singing the Polish National Anthem to drown out the foghorns. At that moment men in uniform, just like those in Poland before the fall of Communism, cudgeled me, and all became dark.

    Date Uncertain

    I am better now. I have bought my room, and lined it with soundproof rubber padding. I have locked the door with big bolts, and never leave it. Attendants slip food trays through a slot at the bottom of the door. When I am feeling up to it I scribble in my diary.

    I had decided, after my encounters in the street, that to preserve my free will, I would have to kill it. All my tormentors were trying to recite to me passages from the hidden Book of Predestynaski. But now the padded walls muffle their prophetic voices; the TV is gone, the window sealed. Now, no one can get at me. As for Nadia, to hell with her! Let her buy life insurance from someone else.

    July the Infinite

    White pigeons flowed out of the muzzle of an extinct volcano, and I counted them. Their numbers approached infinity, and they wheeled about in the azure sky like iridescent angels, perhaps in homage to me.

    I inferred that forevermore none but white pigeons would fly forth.

    But then that damned Phillip Osoffee visited me (“You can call me Phil”) wearing his beret and his tweed jacket with the elbow patches, and puffing on his pipe. He ground his staff into my belly and said, “What about the problem of (puff-puff) induction, Witold, eh? What about (puff-puff) that?”

    I realized with a flash of insight that one cannot logically conclude that because all pigeons heretofore have been white, then all future pigeons will be white, too. The next one might be black.

    Inductive reasoning fails!

    This meant that the hidden Book of Predestynaski, the book that has ruined my life and from which my tormentors were lately quoting, might in fact have nothing to do with me at all! There is no valid inductive inference from the contents of the book so far matching up with my own life, to the conclusion that the rest of the book is a replica in advance of the diary that I have yet to write!

    The volcano rumbled to life, spewing burning embers and boiling lava. The sky became tremulous with redness amid blinding bands of yellow yelling. Then out of that stinking muzzle black pigeons flew like bats out of hell. The whole world shook and shattered, and the stars and the moon fell from the sky into churning seas of fire and blood. Note to self: from now on, it’s decaf for me.

    Happy Birthday to Me

    Today I had visitor.

    Nadia!

    And on my birthday, too!

    I had to fold her in two and pull her in through the food tray slot at the bottom of the door. She had a birthday cake with her, decorated with a single candle.

    “Nadia, you shouldn’t have!” She lighted the candle. “And it’s lemon! My favorite.”

    “Wait,” she said, “don’t blow it out.”

    I watched the fire run down to the cake. She was counting down: 10 … 9 … 8…

    Just before the fire consumed the fuse on the yellowcake, she stunned me by saying, “Yours is the kind of stink that can’t be washed off with soap and water.”

    Zero.

    Augustus Caesar

    I have hit upon a solution to prove that the book is an impostor, a fraud; neither omniscient, nor yet God nor even the devil: My own diary, if published, would take up about 150 pages; by contrast the hidden book is vast. Therefore, to prove that it is not all about me, I will kill myself, making my diary half vast.

    It is foggy, foggy, foggy, and it is one minute to midnight. Let loose the sluices of my veins, to replenish, with blood atonement, the flowers of Time.

    #

    Thus ends (almost) Witold Predestynaski’s diary, which we have excerpted here. Did he really take his own life to prove that the hidden book was a fraud? Or was there a deeper reason? Here are his final writings; judge for yourself:

    “If God does not exist, life is meaningless.”

    “If God exists but His infallible foreknowledge renders all our actions unfree, life is meaningless.”

    “If (as I now believe) God exists, but His infallible foreknowledge comes about as a result of our free acts, then moral accountability is real.”

    “If moral accountability is real, then I am a moral monster for selling fissile materials that could be used to kill hundreds of thousands of people. Could it be that the statues in San Francisco followed me with their eyes, to press upon me my unabsolvable guilt?”

    The final word he ever wrote trailed off in a hopeless scrawl of blood: “yellowcake.”

    It would seem that this unfortunate man, though liberated by the discovery that he had free will in spite of God’s infallible foreknowledge, was destroyed by the very same discovery, because he could blame not God, but only himself, for the monstrous sale of fissile materials.

    By various circuitous routes, his bloodstained manuscript (how he managed to smuggle a razor into the cell at the asylum to which he was confined is unknown) made its way to us, scholars at the San Francisco branch of the United States Department of Metaphysics (Bureau of Ontology). We dispatched a team of analytic philosophers to search the San Francisco Public Library for the secret shelf where Predestynaski hid the finished Book of Predestynaski inside a nose. Initially our efforts were stymied because we were looking for a nose; it turned out, though, that Predestynaski had stashed the volume inside a knows, apparently having confused the two words because they sound alike (English being his second language). Once we realized this, finding the book was easy.

    The bookshop Book of Predestynaski is not only long, it is infinite. It does not exist solely in our familiar 4D Minkowski spacetime, but orthogonally in Hilbert’s n-dimensional mathematical configuration space. It contains a branching story line wherein every possible outcome of Predestynaski's life is chronicled. It is the ultimate hypertext. It is, of course, not God at all, but the quantum wave function of the universe, the true ground of reality.

    On some quantum branches he never leaves the Soviet bloc; in others he does, ending up not in San Francisco but elsewhere. In some branches his opprobrious dealings in fissile materials are replicated, but in others they are not. Moreover, in many story lines he commits suicide, but in others he lives on.

    More:

    The book contains the stories of all people, and all dreams, and all possible variations of lives and dreams.

    It seems, in reading the early parts of the Omniscient Book that matched the events of his own life, Predestynaski, in his boundless self-absorption and his guilt, suffered from a form of epistemic tunnel vision: he was able to perceive, in the book, only those events that he had experienced in his particular subjective branch. Had he been able to read the branching (hypertext) book, he would have understood that it is about everything and everyone, and hence about nothing and no one –- and therefore harmless, because in containing all possible information, it contains no specific information.

    That is, in knowing everything that could possibly be, the Omniscient Book actually knows nothing at all.

    Like so many dilettantes, Predestynaski dipped his toe into the quicksand of philosophy in a futile effort to understand the big picture, and got sucked under. We here know only too well how vile that vortex is. We conclude that Predestynaski was suicided by philosophy.

    #

    Postscript: In 2015, in one story line, the fissile materials that Predestynaski had sold to jihadists a generation earlier were used to immolate San Francisco in history’s worst terrorist attack. The fireball effaced the rooms in which he had lived and streets on which he had trod, and it also vaporized the Department of Ontology and the Omniscient Book, just as if they had never been. It also destroyed this manuscript, which therefore must now end.


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