MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Gulliver's Posthumous Travels to Riemann's Land and Lobachevskia (1947)
William Pepperell Montague
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In this sequel to Swift's classic Gulliver's Travels (which is also mathematical), Barnard College philosopher Montague tells us of his dreams in which Gulliver shares with him the non-Euclidean geometry of his voyages for Riemann's Land and Lobachevskia. The point seems to be to emphasize the Aristotelean philosophical argument that space is neither finite nor infinite, but rather that these properties depend on your notion of measurement.

The story was actually presented as a speach before the Forum of the Society of Friends of Scripta Mathematica and then published in Vol. XIII (1947) of Scripta Mathematica, a quarterly journal published by Yeshiva University.


Thanks to Sandro Caparrini (Torino, Italy) for finding this gem!

(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 Gulliver's Posthumous Travels to Riemann's Land and Lobachevskia
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Journey into Geometries by Marta Sved
  2. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  3. Goliijo by Alex Rose
  4. The Next Dimension by Vladimir Karapetoff
  5. The Kissing Number by Ian Stewart
  6. Intoxicating Heights (Höhenrausch. Die Mathematik des XX. Jahrhunderts in zwanzig Gehirnen) by Dietmar Dath
  7. An Episode of Flatland by Charles H. Hinton
  8. The Extraordinary Hotel or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Stanislaw Lem
  9. The Man Who Counted : A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
  10. Euclid and His Modern Rivals by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll)
Ratings for Gulliver's Posthumous Travels to Riemann's Land and Lobachevskia:
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:
4/5 (1 votes)
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Literary Quality:
2/5 (1 votes)
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Categories:
GenreDidactic,
Motif
TopicGeometry/Topology/Trigonometry, Real Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)