The Protean Penman

To ISAAC ASIMOV, prolific author, futurologist, historian and incurable explainaholic, the unexamined life is a life that is not worth loving

By the end of this year the Library of Congress will have received the 403rd book in a unique collection. Some of the volumes are composed of bawdy limericks: "There is something about satyriasis/ That arouses psychiatrists' biases,/ But we're both very pleased/ We're in this way diseased/ As the damsel who's waiting to try us is." Others are concerned with nuclear physics and organic chemistry: "It is the electron that is mobile and the proton that is relatively stationary . . . Benjamin Franklin had a fifty-fifty chance of guessing right, and he muffed it. Too bad." Some are science...

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