Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books
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Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid

by Douglas R. Hofstadter
(Basic Books, 1979)

A detailed review of this book can be found elsewhere in the Bookshelf. The book includes an annotated bibliography, but many people skip reading these parts of most books.

The third page of the bibliography includes this entry:
Gebstadter, Egbert B. Copper, Silver, Gold: an Indestructable Metallic Alloy. Perth: Acidic Books, 1979. A formidable hodge-podge, turgid and confused -- yet remarkably similar to the present work. Professor Gebstadter's Shandean digressions include some excellent examples of indirect self-reference. Of particular interest is a reference in its well-annotated bibliography to an isomorphic, but imaginary, book.
(The words Hofstadter uses to describe this book, “turgid and confused”, are the same words that were used by others (see page 3) to describe J.S. Bach's works.)

Egbert B. Gebstadter, by the way, also wrote Thetamagical Memas: Seeking the Whence of Letter and Spirit (described by Hofstadter as “A curious pot-pourri, bloated and muddled... This is a collection of Gebstadter's monthly rows in Literary Australian together with a few other articles.”) His latest book is The Graced Tone of Clément: A la lounge de la mélodie des mots, reviewed here.

GEB's index also includes some very interesting entries. Look up, for example, “chunked versions of this book”. Or look up “Dboups, Hfpsh”. Hint: there's nothing about this strange beast on pages 515 and 533. Rather, you should look at pages 404 and 422.

(Special thanks to Pablo Nogueira for suggesting an improvement to this entry.)
[Added 2000-01-01]
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