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Posted July 31, 2006
After a disappointingly technical 'Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies', the author of 'Godel, Escher, Bach' returns. This time the art of poetry translation serves as a backbone to subjects so varied that only Hofstadter could bring them seamlessly together. Skimming quickly through the index, we see: 'nonsexist English', 'number theory', 'Nobel prize', 'nipples'. Yes, it all makes sense, and it all relates distantly to the 16th century poet Clement Marot, whose poem 'A une damoyselle malade' is translated 88 different ways throughout the book. While he remains, sadly, an amateur poet, Hofstadter is clearly at home in the medium of human language. His neologisms and turns of phrase are always delightful, and invite the reader to explore a mind that regards language as beautiful in sound and meaning.
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Posted September 28, 2009
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