MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Fable for Moderns (1955)
Lord Dunsany
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A bank employee becomes bored with the restrictions of arithmetic and decides to let his mathematical computations enjoy the freedom of "modern" poets and artists. Although he loses his job at the bank, he find a following a neo-arithmeticians and fame writing modern verse.

I don't actually know when this was published originally. This story is more of a gibe against modern art and beatnik poetry (the presence of the beat poem in it is the only thing that helps me to date this story to the 1950's, since I do not know when it was first published) than it is about mathematics. The author, Edward Plunkett, who published under his title as Lord Dunsany, must have written this towards the end of his life and it was republished in the collection Ghosts of the Heaviside Layer.

I received a copy of this story in an anonymous, manila envelope...but I can only assume that it was sent by Sandro Caparrini, who has a skill for finding gems like this. Thank you, Sandro!

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(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 A Fable for Moderns
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Imaginary Number by Yizhak Oren
  2. The Cambist and Lord Iron by Daniel Abraham
  3. The Bank by Robert Connolly
  4. A New Golden Age by Rudy Rucker
  5. Numbers in the Dark (La notte dei numeri) by Italo Calvino
  6. Inquirendo Island by Hudor Genone
  7. Silas P. Cornu's Dry Calculator by Henry Hering
  8. Don Juan oder die Liebe zur Geometrie by Max Frisch
  9. The Secret Number by Igor Teper
  10. Slightly Perfect / Are you with it? by George Malcolm-Smith (Novel) / Sam Perrin (Script) / George Balzer (Script)
Ratings for A Fable for Moderns:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreHumorous,
Motif
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Mathematical Finance,
MediumShort Stories,

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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)