MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Fable for Moderns (1951)
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.

The earliest publication I can find is in the New York Times in 1951. This story is more of a gibe against modern art and beatnik poetry 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. The Root and the Ring by Wyman Guin
  6. Flower Arrangement by Rosel George Brown
  7. The Unwilling Professor by Arthur Porges
  8. Freemium by Louis Evans
  9. Scandal in the Fourth Dimension by Amelia Reynolds Long (as "A.R. Long")
  10. Numbers in the Dark (La notte dei numeri) by Italo Calvino
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)
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Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

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

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)