Log24

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mathematics and Narrative, continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:14 PM

"By groping toward the light we are made to realize
 how deep the darkness is around us."
  — Arthur Koestler, The Call Girls: A Tragi-Comedy,
      Random House, 1973, page 118

A 1973 review of Koestler's book—

"Koestler's 'call girls,' summoned here and there
 by this university and that foundation
 to perform their expert tricks, are the butts
 of some chilling satire."

Examples of Light—

Felix Christian Klein (1849- June 22, 1925) and Évariste Galois (1811-1832)

Klein on Galois—

"… in France just about 1830 a new star of undreamt-of brilliance— or rather a meteor, soon to be extinguished— lighted the sky of pure mathematics: Évariste Galois."

— Felix Klein, Development of Mathematics in the 19th Century, translated by Michael Ackerman. Brookline, Mass., Math Sci Press, 1979. Page 80.

"… um 1830 herum in Frankreich als ein neuer Stern von ungeahntem Glanze am Himmel der reinen Mathematik aufleuchtet, um freilich, einem Meteor gleich, sehr bald zu verlöschen: Évariste Galois."

— Felix Klein, Vorlesungen Über Die Entwicklung Der Mathematick Im 19. Jahrhundert. New York, Chelsea Publishing Co., 1967. (Vol. I, originally published in Berlin in 1926.) Page 88.

Examples of Darkness—

Martin Gardner on Galois—

"Galois was a thoroughly obnoxious nerd,
 suffering from what today would be called
 a 'personality disorder.'  His anger was
 paranoid and unremitting."

Gardner was reviewing a recent book about Galois by one Amir Alexander.

Alexander himself has written some reviews relevant to the Koestler book above.

See Alexander on—

The 2005 Mykonos conference on Mathematics and Narrative

A series of workshops at Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation between 2003 and 2006. "The meetings brought together professional mathematicians (and other mathematical scientists) with authors, poets, artists, playwrights, and film-makers to work together on mathematically-inspired literary works."

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