The Pundigrion is a book of immense power. Many have gone mad scrying deeply into its pages, expecting as they often do a mere book of very good puns. But those are a dime a dozen, from The Funomicon to The Wit’s Endgemot, and have no power over the insane (merely the inane).
But The Pundigrion works on a different principle. It open’s the reader’s mind to the inner working of language, the web of phonemes and graphemes that make up language at its most base. It tears away the veil of individual language to expose the underlying code that makes puns possible. And, in this way, it drives readers to gibbering madness.
We can trace the oldest known copy of The Pundigrion to Moshe Abraham, the Mad Israeli, who composed a scroll in Aramaic in the year 135. Taken by the victorious Romans, it was later copied in Athens into Greek and Latin by Leonidas the Loony Lacedaemonian. The Latin copy ended up in the Vatican archives, where numerous vulgate copies were made by Innocentius the Insane Italian. The Greek copy was captured by the Ottomans and sent to Constantinople, where Turkish and Arabic versions can be traced to Taranuz the Touched Turk.
In total, nine copies of The Pundigrion are known to have existed, in Aramaic, Latin, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Italian, French, German, and English. Each has had its exact whereabouts lost over time, largely because it reduces those who study it to gibbering lunatics capable of speaking only in elaborate puns. These people tend not to dispose of their estates very rationally; the 18th-century scholar Berthold the Batty Berliner tossed his copy of The Pundigrion from the dome of St Hedwig’s, for instance. It was rather quickly followed by the rest of his library, his clothes, and Berthold himself.
Chroniclers record his last words as “Singt ein Vogel auswendig? Nein, am meisten singt er vom Blatt!” A rough translation would be “Does a bird sing from memory?
No, it mostly reads from the sheet music.”