a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
John L. Bell, University of Western Ontario|
A semi-autobiographical novel set in a military
academy in a desolate corner of the Austro-Hungarian empire, is the
story of the intellectual awakening of an intelligent adolescent, and
contains several passages on mathematics (and philosophy), notably a
remarkably penetrating discussion of the meaning of imaginary numbers.
Young Törless was adapted into a movie, directed by Volker Schlöndorff (who also adapted The Tin Drum).
Confusions of Young Torless is not only about irrational numbers but also about parallels. In the beginning Musil describes the tracks of the railroad line not as one may expect (and as it for instance Gerhart Hauptmann does it in "Bahnwärter Thile") as converging at the horizon. Musil tells the reader the tracks will never meet. Which of course is true but you never see it like that.
The thoughts about irrational numbers raises the philosophical question if numbers alltogether are inventions of man kind or if we find them (as we found for instance Australia or the Congo).
|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)