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This report is taken from PN Review 213, Volume 40 Number 1, September - October 2013.

Remarks Made Under One's Breath at a Book Fair Frank Kuppner
What's that on the shelf there? The Nature of Existence? / Hm… Two volumes, I can't help noticing.

And what's that next to it? The Unreality of Time? / My God! You don't suppose it's a first edition, do you?

But Time itself is not the problem, Verity. No. Everything else is the problem. Though I dare say this often gets called 'Time' for ease of reference. Nonetheless, succinctness isn't the absolutely supreme value, is it? - mere truth slips through its suave grasp much too regularly for that - and no-one ever has any sort of actual, direct experience of Time itself, has he? (Well - how could we have? There is really no such thing as Time itself. (No. It's all a plethora of intersecting-interacting processes, is it not, Madam? - draw the practical limits wherever we might wish.))

One's true self? Odd numbers exclaiming in regret: 'Oh, if only I could have been even. That would surely have made all the difference!' While the even numbers lament that they themselves in their turn weren't odd ones. 60, for instance, wishing it could only have been a prime number, like 59 or 61. 80 almost incoherent that it too couldn't have been a prime like its neighbour 79, or a square (and a squared square at that!) like its other neighbour, 81. It's all just so unfair, is it not? Poor 99 perhaps sick at ...

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