a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|This is considered one of Borges' greatest short stories, and was even made into a film by "RepoMan" director Alex Cox. The following review from Alejandro Satz explains the mathematical content, but also gives away some of the surprises in the story. So, if "spoilers" bother you, please be sure to read the story before continuing on:
A mystery story in which three crimes are comitted in geometrically related places (the vertices of an equilateral triangle) and at periodic intervals of time. The detective Erik Lonrott deduces from several clues that the murders are ritual sacrifaces by a sect that tries to find the Secret Name of God, and that a fourth crime will be comitted in the fourth vertex of a rhombus. He goes there at the exact date hoping to prevent the crime. Unfortunately, it turns out that the series of murders is all an elaborate plan designed to atract Lonrott to that place by a gangster that wants to take revenge on him for imprisoning his brother, all the clues having been carefully faked. In the last paragraphs, Lonrott critizes the labyrinth woven around him as uneconomical, telling his enemy that a labyrinth form of a straight line with points at regulary decreasing distances (as in Zeno's Paradox) is more elegant. Afterwards, he is shot.
This is one of Borges' most perfect stories, with a masterful command of the language at every moment. A must read.
i am in spanish 5 at my high school and i read the work in spanish and still considered it a great story
Our class read the story for fun after the AP exam, we all enjoyed it, it was very interesting and complex
amazingly wonderful plotline, math isn´t too heavily involved, but the literary quality is unbeatable
I read the story like three times,and I still want to keep reading it. The story had math on it, the math make the story more interesting and excited to read.
After the initial read I immediately loved the mathematical and scientific structure to the story and after analysis the use of numbers throughout each death as well as shapes and colors manipulates the story into a genius masterpiece.
|Buy this work of mathematical fiction and read reviews at amazon.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.)|
May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)