Contest Entrant #3: Fictionarium by Paul Burnham

Having been naturally attracted to a rare publication which had been banned in several countries, I was very excited when I chanced to find a copy that had been mis-titled due to it’s inclusion of a Spanish translation; “Fictionarium”, a short novel by Edgar N. Greengarden, 1960- Three Sevens Publishing Co.20130623-205127.jpg

Even with the author’s preface and the added Spanish translation, the heavy book was surprisingly small, but as I read into the preface, it was evident that Greengarden possessed a knack for thrift in sharing well-woven nodes of concise data. He describes an experimental world which, as I read on, felt eerily similar to reality, and Greengarden confirms this uneasiness by efficiently comparing the world of Fictionarium to our own. The world that Edgar Greengarden portrays is suddenly less fantasy when he shows how it’s subjects spontaneously create and build very real and useful machines, majestic structures with endless flowing gardens for their families and communities, and how they then curiously create imagined rulers to divide and take it all away from them.

 According to Greengarden, their states, countries and agreed borders are also fantasies that are mental weapons used by these presumed leaders, borders being imagined religiously by the inhabitants. These pretended fractures in the landscapes of Fictionarium seem to justify the need for these governors and rulers, fostering an unspoken agreement to delusion using cooperative mental governance. Ringing with diabolical sarcasm, a lyrical sample of Greengarden’s approach to the creation of Fictionarium in the preface shows the simplicity of this self-divided world:

 “A contrived division, wholly made up- a line on the map will do. The farmer will join a side when he finds his harvest has been cut in two. -Edgar Greengarden”20130228-222806.jpg

In the world of Fictionarium, the subjects begin to remember that they are the real makers of their structured world- they see the borders and lines as the fiction that they truly are, and the rulers that they had animated with their emotions begin to wither under the brightness of pure logic. Greengarden explains that in Fictionarium, these rememberers in the experiment, what might be labeled ‘anarchists‘, didn’t become anarchists by studying anarchy, as indeed no such literature existed. Instead, their concept of such a consciously voluntary society was born of natural course after a brief but logical glance at the true function and purpose of the fiction that they called the state. The borders and lines simply lost their relevance, and offered no benefit to the lives of these beings anymore.

The preface to Fictionarium shows the truth that any civilized culture is actually created through voluntarily cooperation by it’s inhabitants, and this revelation suggests that we are all anarchists, we perhaps just don’t know it. Now, thanks to the informative Edgar N. Greengarden’s prologue, I can never unlearn the realization of where the story is actually taking place, and Greengarden’s preface to Fictionarium allows a shocking new perspective to what was once known as ordinary life. I’m looking forward to reading it.

As always be sure to check out the awesome agorists to the right, and folks…

free the mind and the body will follow!


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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7 Responses to Contest Entrant #3: Fictionarium by Paul Burnham

  1. Pingback: Contest results – for the first annual writing contest. | Individuals Talking Back

  2. Pingback: Contest Entrant #7: Why Atheists?, by Micky Fernandez | Jesse Talks Back

  3. Till now, I hadn’t thought about how the book would be done in real life. Instead of writing a real book about fictional things, I reviewed a fictional book that was about real things.
    Thank you Jesse for adding the graphics. I feel like I’m cheating, I keep coming back to the page to see it with the pictures! Good choices for pics.


  4. cavpatriot says:

    Ok, now I need to get a copy and read it. If I can find one.


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