Albert liked collecting. As a child it was stamps, as a young man, girlfriends. Nowadays, slackened by sin and faltering vitality, he became a lepidopterist. Five hundred glass cases, each packed with exotic chevrons of inert delight.
These delicate angels, dancing on the skewer of a pin, weren’t arranged as you might expect – blues in one case, swallowtails in another, metalmarks, and so on. Instead, Albert displayed them by markings, arranged side by side so the patterns spelled out words.
“The way we categorise things,” he said, “confronts us with our assumptions. To me, nature is a book.”