From the (mock) introduction by the (fictitious) translator: "'The Naked Ear' is an unpolished, apparently unfinished piece of writing by an author about whom nothing is known, not even his name. The manuscript that chanced to come into my possession in so bizarre a fashion is signed--self-mockingly, one presumes--'John of Silence.'" Who was this 'John of Silence'? Was he alive? Could he be found? Surely a man doesn't pour out his soul like this into four thick notebooks... only to toss them into an unlocked train station locker?..."