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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:05 pm 
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I received this quite bizarre and unique book for christmas. It's a book within a book, with stories in the margins and inserts. A student and phd scholar start a discussion in the margins about the presumed author of a book called "ship of Theseus". It is supposed to be the last book of the author, V.M Straka, whose real identity has never been known - which is at the center of the phd of one of the readers whose work was stolen by his professor. The story in the margins mixes with the story in the book. It's all fiction, of course, including the supped book, its author or the two scholars exchanging informations. It is difficult to read (different story levels, different timelines), highly beautiful and I am currently quite obsessed.

I am still reading (in German, furthermore), but was very curious if any of you has ever read it or heard of it.

This gives you an idea of what this book is: https://audreydriscoll.files.wordpress. ... 01/003.jpg

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:23 am 
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Oh my! Never heard of it but looks fascinating!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:57 am 
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I had not heard of the book so I checked Amazon, and found both the book titled "S" by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst published in 2013, AND the book titled "S. Ship of Theseus" by V.M. Straka published in 1949 (and the latter is available as an audiobook - and the idea of book within book in audio twists my brain out of shape).

The 2013 book is described thus: "The chronicle of two readers finding each other, and their deadly struggle with forces beyond their understanding--all within the margins of a book conceived by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst."

ETA: Wait! It's not two books! It's one and the same book, but the "Straka" book is a fraud - it contains the second book within it! Look below to see how tricksy false!

Image

I wonder whether the boook is based on the classical metaphysical paradox of intrinsic identity through the passage of time?

Wikipedia on Theseus' Paradox:
Quote:
"It raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The paradox is most notably recorded by Plutarch in Life of Theseus from the late first century. Plutarch asked whether a ship that had been restored by replacing every single wooden part remained the same ship."

"Centuries later, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes introduced a further puzzle, wondering what would happen if the original planks were gathered up after they were replaced, and used to build a second ship. Hobbes asked which ship, if either, would be the original Ship of Theseus."


Fascinating!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:31 am 
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Quote:
“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.”


― Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant



I'll see myself out, shall I. :blackeye:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:35 am 
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All the great philosophers had an opinion on the paradox ;)

One of the resolutions is Worm Theory, did you know?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:50 am 
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I didn't. I probably won't, at least until next week, when my son goes on a school trip and I will be more comfortable consuming enough alcohol to understand something that uses the term "gunky time" unironically.
:pancake:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:26 pm 
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That sounds like something I would like to read.


---------------
Please bear with my typos & grammar mistakes. Sent from my iPhone - Palantirs make mistakes too.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:32 pm 
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The Straka book is a fictive novel, only written to create the dialogue between the two readers in the margins.

I do think the audio book contains only the "Straka text" which could be a book on its own stand. Have finished it since, but plan a re-reading with not-taking in order to get chronologically through the margin notes, because I did not understand everything.

It was a very inspiring read, one which pushed me to writing again for the first time in a very long while.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:45 pm 
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Yes, it required some analytical thinking on my part to work out that the Straka book is a fictional conceit. Very clever!

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