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This Dialogue attaches to the next one. They are based on preludes and fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Achilles and the Tortoise bring a present to the Crab, who has a guest: the Anteater. The present turns out to be a recording of the W.T.C.; it is immediately put on. As they listen to a prelude, they discuss the structure of preludes and fugues, which leads Achilles to ask how to hear a fugue: as a whole, or as a sum of parts? This is the debate between holism and reductionism, which is soon taken up in the Ant Fugue.

While you read[]

  1. What is the status of Fermat's infamous "Last Theorem" today?


  1. According to the Crab on p. 280, there is a strong connection between preludes and fugues, where one sets the mood for the other. Can you think of another "level of meaning" of this relation?