a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
This is an intriguing piece of work, mixing fact
with fiction and different styles (from the scientific essay to
the diary), probably best understood as an ironic look upon the
"Freud wars". Mathematics enters primarily through an imagined
encounter between Anna Freud and John von Neumann, in which the
latter draws analogies between his Game Theory and some of Freud's
psychoanalytic theories. There are also mentions of Borel and
Wiener (consistently misspelled as "Weiner", unfortunately). A
footnote even discusses the controversy between von Neumann and
Borel over the priority in the development of a mathematical
theory of games, which appears to be historical, not fictional.
In a letter to the New York Review of Books, the author claims that the book is actually a defense of psychoanalysis, whose role in psychology he sees have having been usurped by game theory.
I have not actually read the novel and thank Michele Benzi of Emory University for bringing it to my attention. However, having read (and strongly disagreed with) the letter I do not think I am inclined to read the book soon.
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(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)