A. J. Ayer’s Hume

Farrar, Straus & Giroux paperback edition, 1980, 19.6 x 12.8 cm
Earlier this spring, I picked up a paperback from a street vendor on upper Broadway ... The cover has a picture of David Hume, an oil painting of unidentified provenance which looks as if it has been run through the filters of an early Paintbox computer graphics program to realize this exaggerated pixel-portrait. I couldn’t believe my eyes (Hume, arch-skeptic of the senses would say that is precisely the point) — the cover image viscerally flipped back and forth in my brain between being a portrait of David Hume, 18th century Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, and being simply surface, the pure sensation of its infra-thin Paintbox pixelation effect. No sooner do you decide for yourself that it is one, then it flips back to the other.

– “Everything is in Everything,” David Reinfurt, Bulletins of The Serving Library #2, 2011

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