The Book of Antecedents


Cain killed his brother for plagiarizing one of his favorite little poems, which went like this:

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river.

Unable to thwart the fury of a poet scorned, unable to continue writing as long as he knew that the pirates pens-sans would reap the booty of his industry, unable to suppress the question If iambs not for me, what will be for me?, he, unable Cain, put an end to literary larceny forever. Or so he thought.

But much to his surprise, it was Cain who was caned, Cain who was cursed to labor the earth, Cain who was forced to wear that terrible mark, Cain who, for all of his sad and witty verse, could get laid every night, but didn’t know anyone who had read a page of his magnum opus.


God loves the plagiarist. And so it is written, “God created humankind in His image, in the image of God he created them.” God is the original plagiarizer. With a lack of reasonable sources from which to filch—man created in the image of what? the animals?—the creation of man was an act of reflexive plagiarizing; God looted the mirror. When we plagiarize, we are likewise creating in the image and participating in the completion of Creation.

Am I my brother’s material?

Of course, Cain. Of course.


Jews are those things that God loves. Since roses are beautiful, we must assume that God loves them. Therefore, roses are Jewish. By the same reasoning, the stars and planets are Jewish, all children are Jewish, pretty “art” is Jewish (Shakespeare wasn’t Jewish, but Hamlet was), and sex, when practiced between husband and wife in a good and suitable position, is Jewish. Is the Sistine Chapel Jewish? You’d better believe it.


The animals are those things that God likes but doesn’t love.


Objects that exist are those things that God doesn’t even like .


Objects that don’t exist don’t exist. If we were to imagine such a thing as an object that didn’t exist, it would be that thing that God hated. This is the strongest argument against the nonbeliever. If God didn’t exist, he would have to hate himself, and that is obviously nonsense.

A Book of Antecedents egy könyv az Everything is Illuminated-ben. Olyan, mint egy lexikon, mely elmúlt eseményeket, személyeket, különböző tárgyakat és fogalmakat örökít meg és magyaráz. Ezen a részen különösen jól szórakoztam.

Egyébként, szerintem érdemes lett volna a teljes (több kötetes) könyvet megírni és kiadni. Én biztosan szívesen elolvastam volna.