Saturday, August 9, 2003

Saturday August 9, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM


Today is the feast day of St. Hermann Hesse.  A quotation from a work by Hesse that is to some a sort of Bible:

“You treat world history as a mathematician does mathematics, in which nothing but laws and formulae exist, no reality, no good and evil, no time, no yesterday, no tomorrow, nothing but an eternal, shallow, mathematical present.”

Father Jacobus, Benedictine priest, in The Glass Bead Game, ch. 4 (1943, translated 1960), by Hermann Hesse

A Benedictine Archbishop’s Apology:

“Archbishop Weakland described his feelings ‘at this moment’ as ‘remorse, contrition, shame and emptiness,’ also noting that ‘much self-pity and pride remain.’ He contended he ‘must leave that pride behind.’ “

A Mathematician’s Apology:

C.P. Snow in his introduction to A Mathematician’s Apology (also a Bible, or at least a book of a Bible, to some) quotes G. H. Hardy on hearing the chimes of Vespers:

“It’s rather unfortunate that some of the happiest hours of my life should have been spent within sound of a Roman Catholic church.”

A Bible for Benedictines:

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics,
by the Mathematical Society of Japan,

is suitable reading for those Benedictines in Purgatory who have too lightly used words like “no reality” and “shallow” to describe mathematics.

For other remedial reading in the afterlife, see Midsummer Eve’s Dream and Quine in Purgatory.


  1. Adam ignores John Steinbeck.

    FOFLMAO!  I’m sorry.  I can’t help it, I began reading, and my comprehension level went up a notch when I found this.
    So, how do you really feel Steven?

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Sunday, August 10, 2003 @ 2:15 AM

  2. I feel Steven by reaching down between my legs and….

    Comment by m759 — Sunday, August 10, 2003 @ 7:18 AM

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