MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Kepler: A Novel (1981)
John Banville
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Johannes Kepler, the most famous Rennaissance court mathematician, is remembered today for his successes, especially his explicit description of planetary orbits. However, he also had some rather strange ideas which are rarely mentioned. (One that I remember is his explanation of why there are only 6 planets in terms of Platonic solids.)

This novel of historical fiction seeks to understand Kepler and his motivations. The author has done the same for several other historical figures and has a reputation for being able to do it well! As I write this (June 2000) I have not yet read this novel myself but have every reason to expect that it is well done. If you have read it, please write to me with more details (thanks!)

"Kepler is a magnificent novel, it makes for a fascinating read, especially after Banville's other piece on Copernicus which is equally riveting. He is without doubt, one of the finest literary talents to have emerged from Ireland in the last 40 years." (Contributed by anonymous.)

Contributed by Anonymous

The Revolution trilogy it's an excelent novel, where Copernicus and Kepler are men, more than astronomers or mathematicians. From a narratological point of view, the book is a very good example of modern (postmodern) writing.

Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.com. Amazon.com 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 Kepler: A Novel
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. D'Alembert's Principle: A Novel in Three Panels by Andrew Crumey
  2. El matemático del Rey by Juan Carlos Arce
  3. Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss by Margaret B.W. Tent
  4. Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
  5. The World as I Found It by Bruce Duffy
  6. Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture by Apostolos Doxiadis
  7. Shooting the Sun by Max Byrd
  8. The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt
  9. Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land by John Crowley
  10. The Stargazers by Barbara Susan Lefever
Ratings for Kepler: 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.
Mathematical Content:
2.8/5 (5 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
4.4/5 (5 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifReal Mathematicians,
Topic
MediumNovels,

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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)