a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|An engineer is inspired by a passing truck from "Euclid's Dry Cleaning" to apply geometric principles to his own marital problems. He finds that interpreting his family as a triangle has the advantage of making things less confusing and emotional. Or, at least, it makes them seem less confusing and emotional, and he does not seem to care whether there is a difference. Encouraged by this "success", he begins to rely on geometry whenever things become unpleasant or (as they eventually do) tragic.
This story appears in the Pulitzer Prize winning collection "The Stories of John
Cheever" and was published originally in The Saturday Evening Post Jan 1 1966. A scan of the original SEP version is presently available for free at saturdayeveningpost.com.
Update January 2020: Robert Haas has published an analysis of this story in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. You can read Haas' article, which focuses on the relationship between this story and Cheever's own life, here.
|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.)|
Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)