JF Ptak Science Books Post 2685
[Umberto Eco's sketch for the imaginary library in his The Name of the Rose, from Digital Architectural Papers, here]
“To write vast books is a laborious nonsense, much better is to offer a summary as if those books actually existed.” — Jorge Luis Borges
I imagined to be reading about the imaginary illustrations of a non-existent book when I wondered about the extent of (intentionally) imaginary books in the history of real books. It was a quick realization of how deep and how old this genre is--and as a matter of fact one excellent single-stop website that displays this depth is the Librarian of Babel by Emi Hastings (Catalogues of Imaginary Libraries https://librarianofbabel.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/bibliographies-of-imaginary-libraries/).
At the outset I thought to write some sort of overview or a little history of the imaginary book, starting of course with Rabelais and then Borges, but there is just so much more than can be accommodated by a simple evening's work that I decided to simply make a few lists of representative creations by a selection of some favorite biblio-creativists. So, help yourself to some interesting and humorous suggestions by Charles Dickens, John Donne, Francois Rabelais, Marcus de Fable, Douglas Adams, Jorges Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, Vladimir Nabokov, Haited Pleat, and J.K. Rowling.
Works invented by Charles Dickens [findable in numerous forms with this list found at https://flavorwire.com/329815/charles-dickens-library-of-fake-books]:
Five Minutes in China. 3 vols.
Forty Winks at the Pyramids. 2 vols.
Abernethy on the Constitution. 2 vols.
Mr. Green’s Overland Mail. 2 vols.
Captain Cook’s Life of Savage. 2 vols.
A Carpenter’s Bench of Bishops. 2 vols.
Toot’s Universal Letter-Writer. 2 vols.
Orson’s Art of Etiquette.
Downeaster’s Complete Calculator.
History of the Middling Ages. 6 vols.
Jonah’s Account of the Whale.
Captain Parry’s Virtues of Cold Tar.
Kant’s Ancient Humbugs. 10 vols.
Bowwowdom. A Poem.
The Quarrelly Review. 4 vols.
The Gunpowder Magazine. 4 vols.
Steele. By the Author of “Ion.”
Works invented by John Donne, Catalogus librorum aulicorum incomparabilium et non vendibilium, or The Courtier’s Library of Rare Books Not for Sale, was written between 16-7-1611, and published in 1650: [https://libraryofinvisible.blogspot.com/2014/03/anonymous.html]
Edward Hoby’s Afternoon Belchings
On Distinguishing the Sex and Hermaphroditism of Atoms
On the art of decyphering and finding some treason in any intercepted letter
Concerning the method of emptying the dung from Noah’s Ark
Martin Luther, On Shortening the Lord’s Prayer
The Princely Ocean, or The Pyramid, or The Colossus, or The Abyss of Wits: where by means of 60,000 letters to the Nobles of all nations … are related everything that is able to be related concerning toothpicks and hangnails
On the Navigability of the Waters above the heavens, and whether Ships in the Firmament will land there or on our shores on the Day of Judgment, by John Dee
What not? or a confutation of all errors in Theology as well as in the other sciences, and the mechanical arts, by all men, dead, living, and to be born, put together one night after supper
The Art of Cutting the Teeth.
Matthew’s Nursery Songs.
Paxton’s Bloomers. 5 vols.
On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets.
Drowsy’s Recollections of Nothing. 3 vols.
Heavyside’s Conversations with Nobody. 3 vols.
Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inhabitant. 2 vols.
Growler’s Gruffiology, with Appendix. 4 vols.
The Books of Moses and Sons. 2 vols.
Burke (of Edinburgh) on the Sublime and Beautiful. 2 vols.
King Henry the Eighth’s Evidences of Christianity. 5 vols.
Miss Biffin on Deportment.
Morrison’s Pills Progress. 2 vols.
Lady Godiva on the Horse.
Munchausen’s Modern Miracles. 4 vols.
Richardson’s Show of Dramatic Literature. 12 vols.
Hansard’s Guide to Refreshing Sleep
Works invented by Francois Rabelais, a selection from Catalogue of the Choice Books Found by Pantagruel in the Abbey of Saint Victor: Devised by François Rabelais: Translated and Annotated by Walter Klinefelter, a Student of Catalogues (printed in Pantagruel, c. 1532; translated and printed separately, 1952):
The Spur of Cheese
The Codpiece of the Law
The Testes of Theology
On the Art of Discreetly Farting in Company
Three Books on How to Chew Bacon
Martingale Breeches with Back-flaps for Turd-droppers
Works invented by Haited Pleat:
Bogus Borsht Approaches in Courts of Conematic Profiles, by Miss Cabot
A History of Holes and the Things That Made Them, Part I, by Hudson Living Core
A History of Holes and the Things That Made Them, Part II--Stuff That Fills In Holes, by Hudson Living Core, jr.
On the Sum Total of All Living Things on Earth that Have Eaten Other Living Things on Earth, an Episode in the History of Massive Numbers, by Prof. D. Dew
Works invented by Marcus de Fable:
The Imitation of the Imitation of Fainting, by Verbela Poot
Pressing Things, a Fable of Making Things Flat and Flatter, by Dove F.K. Fleeb
A Constellation of Periodic Means to Carrying Light Things, by Th. Thomas Eb
Things That Look Like Caskets But Aren't, a Mood Filter, by Grecian Herbs
Works invented by Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series:
The Big Bang Theory: A Personal View by Eccentrica Gallumbits
Celestial Homecare Omnibus
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Guilt But Were Too Ashamed To Find Out by Oolon Colluphid
Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Sex But Have Been Forced To Find Out by Oolon Colluphid
Fifty-Three More Things to do in Zero Gravity
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Mark II
How I Scaled the North Face of the Megapurna with a Perfectly Healthy Finger But Everything Else Sprained, Broken or Bitten Off By a Pack of Mad Yaks
How I Survived an Hour with a Sprained Finger
Life Begins at Five Hundred and Fifty
Practical Parenting in a Fractally Demented Universe
Sidereal Daily Mentioner's Book of Popular Galactic History
Songs of the Long Land by Lallafa
Time Traveller's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations by Dr. Dan Streetmentioner
The Ultra-Complete Maximegalon Dictionary of Every Language Ever
Where God Went Wrong by Oolon Colluphid
Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes by Oolon Colluphid
Who Is This God Person Anyway? by Oolon Colluphid
Well That About Wraps It Up for God by Oolon Colluphid
You and Your Planets by Gail Andrews
Works invented by Jorge Luis Borges
Anglo-American Cyclopedia 1917 edition
A First Encyclopaedia of Tlön
History of a Land called Uqbar by Silas Haslam (1874)
The Combed Thunderclap
The Plaster Cramp
Axaxaxas mlö (the words "axaxaxas mlö" also occur in Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius in an example of the language of Tlön)
The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim by Mir Bahadur Ali (1932)
The Book of Sand
The Garden of Forking Paths by Ts'ui Pen
April March by Herbert Quain
Biography of the Baal Shem by Dr. Marcel Yarmolinsky (1940)
The Conversation with the Man Called Al-Mu'tasim: A Game of Shifting Mirrors by Mir Bahadur Ali (1934)
Don Quixote and other works by Pierre Menard
An Examination of the Philosophy of Robert Fludd by Dr. Marcel Yarmolinsky (1921)
A General History of Labyrinths by Silas Haslam (1888)
The God of the Labyrinth by Herbert Quain
Dem hemlige Fralsaren by Nils Runeberg (1909)
History of the Sect of the Hasidim by Dr. Marcel Yarmolinsky (1931)
Kristus och Judas by Nils Runeberg (1904)
Lesbare und lesenswerthe Bemerkungen über das Land Ukkbar in Klein-Asien by Johann Valentin Andreä
Les Problemes d'un probleme by Pierre Menard (1917)
The Secret Mirror by Herbert Quain
Statements by Herbert Quain
Tetragrammaton by Dr. Marcel Yarmolinsky
Urkunden zur Geschichte der Zahirsage (Documents and Tales: the History of the Zahir) by Julius Barlach (1899)
A Vindication of the Cabala by Dr. Marcel Yarmolinsky (1938)
Vindication of Eternity by Jaromir Hladík (1927)
Works invented by Umberto Eco:
The Carmassi Brothers by Adeodato Lampustri
Chaste Throbs by Odolinda Mezzofanti Sassabetti
Chronicles of the Zodiac by Dr. De Amicis
The Dismissed by Adeodato Lampustri
Diary of a Village Doctor
Diary of a Young Girl's Illness
Panther Without Eyelashes by Adeodato Lampustri
The Wonderful Adventure of Metals
On the Use of Mirrors in the Game of Chess by Milo Temesvar
Works invented by Vladimir Nabokov:
In The Real Life of Sebastian Knight:
Lost Property by Sebastian Knight
Success by Sebastian Knight
The Doubtful Asphodel by Sebastian Knight
The Funny Mountain by Sebastian Knight
The Prismatic Bezel by Sebastian Knight
Histoire Abrégée de la Poésie Anglaise by Humbert Humbert
Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male by Humbert Humbert
The Proustian Theme in a Letter from Keats to Benjamin Bailey by Humbert Humbert
Who's Who in the Limelight (a theatrical yearbook of 1946), author unknown
The Little Nymph a play by Clare Quilty
Dark Age a play by Clare Quilty
The Strange Mushroom a play by Clare Quilty
Fatherly Love a play by Clare Quilty
The Enchanted Hunters a play by Clare Quilty
The Lady who Loved Lightning a play by Clare Quilty & Vivian Darkbloom
My Cue a biography of Clare Quilty by Vivian Darkbloom
Suhie Gubi (Dry Lips) by Liza Bogolepov
Russia Awakes by Miss Herring
Response, A Hundred Love Lyrics by American Women
A book on surnames (title unknown) by Charles X. Kinbote
Timon Afinsken (translation of Timon of Athens by Conmal, Duke of Aros
Voluminous correspondence by Ferz and Oswin Bretwit
Zemblan variants of the Konungs skuggsjá collected or forged by Hodinski (also known as Hodyna)
Ten volumes' worth of novels (titles unknown) by Jane de Faun
Dim Gulf by John Shade
Hebe's Cup by John Shade
Night Rote by John Shade
Poems by John Shade
Supremely Blest by John Shade
Taming a Seahorse by John Shade
A psychology textbook (title unknown) by Professor C.
Birds of Mexico by Samuel Shade, illustrated by Carolyn Shade
The Merman (play)
Book of Numerology
New Theory of Numerology
Numerology by L. Wakefield
Grammatica by M. Carneiro
Care of Magical Creatures
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by Newt Scamander
The Monster Book of Monsters
Standard Book of Spells (Grades One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and presumably Seven) by Miranda Goshawk
Quintessence: A Quest
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Confronting the Faceless
Break with a Banshee by Gilderoy Lockhart
Gadding with Ghouls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Holidays with Hags by Gilderoy Lockhart
Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart
Travels with Trolls by Gilderoy Lockhart
Voyages with Vampires by Gilderoy Lockhart
Wandering with Werewolves by Gilderoy Lockhart
Year with the Yeti by Gilderoy Lockhart
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
Defensive Magical Theory by Wilbert Slinkhard
'The Dream Oracle by Inigo Imago
Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky
Death Omens: What to Do When You Know the Worst is Coming
Broken Balls: When Fortune Turns Foul
Predicting the Unpredictable: Insulate Yourself against Shocks"
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Encyclopædia of Toadstools
Magical Mediterranean Water Plants and their Properties
Flesh-eating Trees of the World
History of Magic
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles by Wilhelm Wigworthy (Little Red Books, 1987)
Advanced Potion Making by Libatius Borage
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Moste Potente Potions
Study of Ancient Runes
Ancient Runes Made Easy
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
Guide to Advanced Transfiguration
An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms
A Guide to Medieval Sorcery
Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charmes
Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century
Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy
Notable Magical Names of Our Time
The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts
The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by Rita Skeeter
Armando Dippet: Master or Moron? by Rita Skeeter
Prefects Who Gained Power
Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century
Hogwarts, A History, by Chroniclus Punnet
Modern Magical History
Important Modern Magical Discoveries
A Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry
An Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe\
Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit
Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland
Dreadful Denizens of the Deep
From Egg to Inferno: a Dragon-Keeper's Guide
Men Who Love Dragons Too Much
Handbook of Hippogriff Psychology
Fowl or Foul? A Study of Hippogriff Brutality
Why I Didn't Die When the Augerey Cried by Gulliver Pokeby (Little Red Books, 1824)
Hairy Snout, Human Heart by an anonymous author (Whizz Hard Books, 1975)
Magick Moste Evile
Secrets of the Darkest Art
A Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions
Curses and Counter-Curses by Professor Vindictus Viridian
The Dark Arts Outsmarted
Jinxes for the Jinxed
Practical Defensive Magic Its Use Against the Dark Arts
Magical cooking and housecare
Charm Your Own Cheese
Enchantment in Baking
Gilderoy Lockhart's Guide to Household Pests by Gilderoy Lockhart
One-Minute Feasts—It's Magic!
Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions
The Healer's Helpmate
A Study into the Possibility of Reversing the Actual and Metaphysical Effects of Natural Death, with Particular Regard to the Reintegration of Essence and Matter
Weird Wizarding Dilemmas and Their Solutions
Where There's a Wand, There's a Way
The Invisible Book of Invisibility
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
New Theory of Numerology
Numerology and Grammatica
Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms
Achievements in Charming
Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed
Madcap Magic for Wacky Warlocks
Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts
Powers You Never Knew You Had and What to Do With Them Now You've Wised Up
Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches by Franklin Filibuster
Sports and games
Beating the Bludgers—A Study of Defensive Strategies in Quidditch by Kennilworthy Whisp
Flying with the Cannons
Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (Whizz Hard Books, 1952)
Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland
Handbook of Do-It-Yourself-Broomcare
Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles by Wilhelm Wigworthy
Muggles Who Notice by Blenheim Stalk (1972)
The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know by Professor Mordicus Egg (Dust & Mildewe, 1963)
Sonnets of a Sorcerer (cursed, anyone who reads it speaks in limericks for the rest of their lives)
The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle - a comic Harry sees in Ron's room
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a book of children's stories which is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.One, about the hairy heart, is too strong for a child to read or listen to, and so was omitted by Beatrix Bloxam from her anthology.
The Hairy Heart: A Guide to Wizards who Won't Commit
The Toadstool Tales by Beatrix Bloxam.