Editorial comments: This essay was first posted here on December 20, 2013. The latest version dates to May 16, 2014.
Author's comments. Although these notes were written as a foreword to, or an appreciation of, a book by Qing Zou that is to appear soon, the primary purpose for me was to describe some possibilities in the theory of automorphic representations upon which I believe it is important for specialists to reflect. I was grateful to Qing Zou for the somewhat unexpected request to write an appreciation. The book itself will appear in Chinese; the translated title is ``From Kummer to Langlands—The history of the Langlands Program''