Tom's Reviews > Le Ton beau de Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language

Le Ton beau de Marot by Douglas R. Hofstadter
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it was amazing

I finally finished this book over the weekend. I've been reading it for years--it's that kind of book. And it was sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while until I picked it up again last year.
I told someone it was one of my favorite books of all time to read. I know that sounds awkward but what I mean is that I like reading Douglas Hofstadter. He's a bit of a rambler but has such an interesting mind that I don't mind being taken hither and yon by him.
This book is essentially about translation and the ways that humans and computers use language. But the thing that makes the book more than just a treatise about the psychology of language is that Hofstadter's wife had died suddenly of a brain tumor just shortly before the book was published and the book as much a tribute to her as anything else.
Hofstadter is fascinated by patterns as evidenced in his most famous book "Godel, Escher and Bach." The present title takes a "simple" poem by an obscure 16th century French author Clement Marot and shows how translation works (or doesn't).
If you love language and have an open mind and take your time with this book it will reward you with a wonderfully pleasurable experience.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 8, 2009 – Finished Reading
March 9, 2009 – Shelved

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