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The Mathematician Repents (2004)
Estep Nagy

A short story (?) in which Paul Erdős wakes up in the home of a Parisian mathematician, seems a bit confused, wanders around, and says some strange things. No real math is discussed in the story, but of course Erdős was a real mathematician.

I'm not absolutely sure this one is fiction. This could theoretically be a description of fact, though it reads more like a short story. (It seems odd to me for someone to have written a story about a real person who had not even been dead 10 years at the time it was written.) If anyone knows more than I do about its origins, please let me know.

Originally published in Southwest Review 89 no1 37-46 2004.

(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 The Mathematician Repents
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  2. Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma
  3. The Central Tendency by Daniel Kaysen
  4. Belonging to Karovsky by Kathryn Schwille
  5. Of Mystery There Is No End by Leonard Michaels
  6. Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
  7. Kavita Through Glass by Emily Ishem Raboteau
  8. Falling Umbrella by Julia Whitty
  9. The Mathematics of Friedrich Gauss by D.W. Wilson
  10. The Arnold Proof by Jessica Francis Kane
Ratings for The Mathematician Repents:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

MotifReal Mathematicians,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)