From Carl Jung’s essay Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle in vol. 8 of his collected works, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. It feels odd that this example of the idea got relegated to a footnote (pg 431 – and citing pg 194 of Camille Flammarion’s The Unknown) since it’s the most concise and one of the most memorable he provides.
A certain M. Deschamps, when a boy in Orleans, was once given a piece of plum-pudding by a M. de Fortgibu. Ten years later he discovered another plum-pudding in a Paris restaurant, and asked if he could have a piece. It turned out, however, that the plum-pudding was already ordered – by M. de Fortgibu. Many years afterwards M. Deschamps was invited to partake of a plum-pudding as a special rarity. While he was eating it he remarked that the only thing lacking was M. de Fortgibu. At that moment the door opened and an old, old man in the last stages of disorientation walked in: M. de Fortgibu, who had got hold of the wrong address and burst in on the party by mistake.
4 thoughts on “Monsieur de Fortgibu and the plum-pudding”
Do you have any connection with John Durham Peters, by-the-way?
I get the Tristram Shandy reference, it’s the Sub Sub Librarian subtitle that intrigues me.
No connection, though he does look very interesting. It’s ultimately from one of the introductory sections of Moby Dick – called Extracts (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian). When I was filling out tax forms several years ago I first put librarian in the profession field but then – because I can’t take anything seriously and like to amuse myself – I changed it to sub-sub-librarian. And that remains my self-identified profession for government purposes. When I later started doing this site the theme just fell into place.
LikeLiked by 1 person