The Third Policeman
The Third Policeman was a book featured briefly in an episode in Season 2 when Desmond was still in the hatch. I believe he was either reading it, or he picked it up and took it with him. Anyway, at the time, I was sort of obsessed with the symbolism of just about everything in the show and I read online summaries and reviews of the book. At the time, it didn't make any sense to me at all, but I continually go back to it as something that might have been a major element - especially now that there is this time/space continuum stuff going on.
A brief synopsis of the book:
The unnamed protagonist of the novel is tragically orphaned, and later sent to boarding school where he first becomes acquainted with the work of the bizarre philosopher, De Selby, who is referenced constantly, both via footnotes, and in body of the novel itself.
Obsessed by the philosopher's somewhat odd theories, the protagonist sets out on a catastrophic quest to publish a definitive commentary on the philosopher. To fund this ambition, he plans to murder and rob a rich man - although in a strange way, fate seems to guide him in this direction, whether he likes it or not.
De Selby is a natural skeptic of all known laws of physics, who casually dismisses the evidence of human experience. He contends, for example, that "the permanent hallucination known conventionally as 'life' is an effect of constantly walking in a particular direction around a sausage-shaped earth, and that night results from 'accumulations of black air'". (Lost features a monster composed of smoke.)
The protagonist finally gets hold of his victims' black box only to discover that the box does not contain money, but “omnium” , a substance once described as: “the essential inherent interior essence which is hidden in the root of the kernel of everything”, and which is literally everything one desires.
The former holder of the box has been using it to take the muck off his leggings and to boil his eggs just right, but naturally the narrator has more grandiose visions of his future omnipotence. In the novel, the first two policemen share an underground structure with the narrator. Without spoiling the ending, the narrator is being punished for his "bad" deeds. One can draw a parallel with this and the new idea that Islanders in danger of being taken by the Others are either "good" or "bad".
Oookayy...so. Having never read the book myself (because just reading the summary literally ties my brain in knots), I have to think that this is an important Easter egg. It would be too difficult to summarize everything I've read on this subject, so I suggest you all read the post in that link and then come back so we can discuss it.
"According to a BBC report & an article in the Chicago Tribune on September 21, 2005, The Third Policeman was to contain key insights into the show, a fact that led to it selling more copies in the 3 weeks following the episode's airing than in the 6 years that preceded this." (Same source)
What do we make of this? Is the time jumping really messing with your head? If a person in the future (Daniel) can interact with a person in the past when the island jumps (Desmond), wouldn't that person remember seeing them when they see them in the future? God, my eyes are crossed right now.....
Okay, I'm off to find more Easter eggs....