MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Bianca (1984)
Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay)
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A math teacher (played by Nanni Moretti himself) has odd obsessions and compulsions in this film, including his crush on colleague Bianca. Although his anti-social behavior seems to be destroying his chances with her, she does come to his rescue when he is accused of having murdered two of his good friends by offering a false alibi to the police. In the end, however, it turns out that he did murder them because their behavior did not fit with his notion of orderliness.

By all accounts, this is a very interesting and well made film, full of both symbolism and humor. (I say "by all accounts" because, I'm afraid, I have not seen it myself.) So, I do hope to be able to see it someday. However, I am both tired and worried by the stereotype of the dangerously insane mathematician that appears with great frequency in fiction. Do enjoy this film but please keep in mind that in reality there is no increased rate of either insanity or violent behavior in math professors and teachers as compared to professors and teachers in other disciplines!

More information about this work can be found at www.imdb.com.
(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 Bianca
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. 1 to 999 by Isaac Asimov
  2. The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive by Josef Skvorecky
  3. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
  4. The Murdered Mathematician by Harry Stephen Keeler
  5. Naked Came the Post-modernist by Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT-3303-R / Melvin Jules Bukiet
  6. A Killer Theorem by Colin Adams
  7. The Visiting Professor by Robert Littell
  8. After Math by Miriam Webster
  9. The Barking Clock by Harry Stephen Keeler / Hazel Goodwin Keeler
  10. A Frayed Knot by Felix Culp
Ratings for Bianca:
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.
(unrated)

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Categories:
GenreMystery, Humorous,
MotifEvil mathematicians, Anti-social Mathematicians, Insanity, Academia,
Topic
MediumFilms,

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Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)