a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

Freud's Megalomania: A Novel (2001)
Israel Rosenfield

Contributed by Michele Benzi

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.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at logo
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Freud's Megalomania: A Novel
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar / Akiva Goldsman
  2. 36 Arguments for the Existence of God by Rebecca Goldstein
  3. Shakespeare Predicted it All by Dietmar Dath
  4. Who Killed Professor X? by Thodoris Andriopoulos / Thanasis Gkiokas
  5. Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen] by Davide Osenda
  6. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
  7. Zéro, ou les Cinq vies d'Aemer by Denis Guedj
  8. Infinities by John Barrow
  9. La formule de Stokes, roman by Michèle Audin
  10. Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli
Ratings for Freud's Megalomania: A Novel:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.


GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous, Didactic,
MotifReal Mathematicians,

Home All New Browse Search About

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)