Books: Sage at Play

NIGHTMARES OF EMINENT PERSONS AND OTHER STORIES (177 pp.)—Bertrand Russell—Simon & Schuster ($3).

In recent years Philosopher Bertrand Russell has taken to fiction, but fiction has not yet taken to Philosopher Russell. The reason is that when logicians with a sense of humor start toying with storytelling, their mighty brains behave like dancing elephants playing dancing mice. The fiction they write is more sophisticated than nursery rhymes but every bit as childish: only once in a blue moon does a logician like Lewis Carroll come along and succeed in transforming the kindergarten into Wonderland.

Each of the ten imaginary nightmares in Russell's new...

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