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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Transylvania Revisited

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:10 PM

The previous post suggests . . .

Jim Holt reviewing Edward Rothstein's Emblems of Mind: The Inner Life of Music and Mathematics  in The New Yorker  of June 5, 1995:

"The fugues of Bach, the symphonies of Haydn, the sonatas of Mozart: these were explorations of ideal form, unprofaned by extramusical associations. Such 'absolute music,' as it came to be called, had sloughed off its motley cultural trappings. It had got in touch with its essence. Which is why, as Walter Pater famously put it, 'all art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.'

The only art that can rival music for sheer etheriality is mathematics. A century or so after the advent of absolute music, mathematics also succeeded in detaching itself from the world. The decisive event was the invention of strange, non-Euclidean geometries, which put paid to the notion that the mathematician was exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the scientific universe. 'Pure' mathematics came to be seen by those who practiced it as a free invention of the imagination, gloriously indifferent to practical affairs– a quest for beauty as well as truth." [Links added.]

A line for James McAvoy —

"Pardon me boy, is this the Transylvania Station?"

Bolyai 'worlds out of nothing' quote

See as well Worlds Out of Nothing ,  by Jeremy Gray.

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