Intriguing Interpolation

Those readers who pay attention to my reading pool know that at the moment I am reading Catch-22 and Foucault's Pendulum concurrently. Reading several books at once is an old habit from grade school when I would always have one book at school and another at home, but I dropped the habit some time ago before picking it up again in Germany. As I was reading Foucault's Pendulum last night, however, something happened to me for what I believe is the first time, namely, that one book I’m reading quoted the other. Every chapter of Foucault's Pendulum begins with a short quotation somehow relevant to the chapter; the quotes are usually from some obscure ancient text, so when I flipped the page to Chapter 63 I was especially surprised to find a brief excerpt from Catch-22:

“It's always the same fish, isn't it?” “I don't know,” Yossarian replied. “I have trouble recognizing fish.” “What does the fish remind you of?” “Other fish.” “And what do other fish remind you of?” “Other fish.“

There’s a sort of gleeful delight for me in this coincidence, like one might feel when a commercial for M&M's comes on television just as one has popped a few of the candies in one's mouth.