Wacholder lives and works at Custom House No. 8 with his adopted son Aslan and a lodger named Leo. Aslan spends his days copying out the novels of Kleist, Schiller, Goethe, and Mann; Leo, never leaving his bed, mentally composes his philosophical masterwork, Placental Theory of Existence; and Wacholder's only apparent responsibility is keeping watch over a towering mountain of paper. Wacholder's consuming passion, however, is his only true friend and nemesis, Würz.
Würz hasn't left his home in over seventeen years. He lives there, in a cocoon of cleanliness and order, with his wife Rita and Rita's two grown sons, Arnold and Arnulf. Würz has dedicated his life to perfecting his home and eliminating every last atom of dirt. His happiness is disturbed only by the letters, 74 in all, Wacholder has sent him over the years. These letters—dictated by Wacholder, written by Aslan, and full of every kind of insanity and invective—are intended to smoke Würz out of his hole, both for his own good and to stop him from plotting against Wacholder.
When the 74th letter seemingly has no effect, Wacholder turns to other increasingly outlandish schemes to defeat his rival, even staging a rally to declare Würz's non-existence. A feverishly comic carnival, Ergo
is Jakov Lind's most experimental work and the final novel he wrote in German.