Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (commonly GEB) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, published in 1979 by Basic Books. A new preface by Hofstadter accompanied an otherwise unchanged 20th anniversary edition (ISBN 0465026567) released in 1999.
At one level, it is a book about how the creative achievements of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach interweave. As the author states: "I realized that to me, Gödel and Escher and Bach were only shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence. I tried to reconstruct the central object, and came up with this book."
The central theme of the book is more abstract. Hofstadter asks: "Do words and thoughts follow formal rules, or do they not?" In the preface to the twentieth-anniversary edition, Hofstadter laments that his book has been misperceived as a hodge-podge of neat things with no central theme. He stated: "GEB is a very personal attempt to say how it is that animate beings can come out of inanimate matter. What is a self, and how can a self come out of stuff that is as selfless as a stone or a puddle?"