Will it still be here when I get back from teaching?

March 4, 2009, 1:43 pm

I picked up today’s mail. In amongst two bills, a periodical, and a letter from someone to a third party critiquing my views on the New Deal, I found an envelope bearing postage stamps from Sweden. Addressed to me in a clear hand, with a note at the corner saying, “Will tell you more when I return!” it contains no letter, only a slim volume by “Joe K”, purporting to transmit the English translation of a Swedish translation of “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Being or Nothingness’, commonly referred to as ‘The Giant Rat of Sumatra’.”

The cover art is by M. C. Escher. The flyleaf contains a letter from “The Writer” to Douglas Hofstadter. With a butterfly on the letterhead.

No, I am not kidding. So far I count five of my favorite things, and I haven’t got to the title page.

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