The Weil Conjectures (inbunden)
Format
Inbunden (Hardback)
Språk
Engelska
Antal sidor
224
Utgivningsdatum
2019-07-11
Förlag
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Dimensioner
213 x 149 x 22 mm
Vikt
326 g
ISBN
9781526607539
The Weil Conjectures (inbunden)

The Weil Conjectures

On Maths and the Pursuit of the Unknown

Inbunden Engelska, 2019-07-11
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'A wonderful book ... Reading it is akin to kicking a can along the road of higher learning' Patti Smith Simone Weil: famous French philosopher, writer, political activist, mystic - and sister to Andre, one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century. For Karen Olsson, who studied mathematics at Harvard only to turn to writing as a vocation, the lives and obsessions of these two extraordinary siblings returned her to the intellectual passions of her youth. When Olsson got hold of the 1940 letters between Simone and Andre, she discovered that Andre's pursuit of his studies became increasingly incomprehensible to his sister, leading to Simone directly questioning him about the value of such rarefied knowledge as it applied to the lived experience. Struck by this conflict, Olsson revisits her own time at university, how she came to be consumed by mathematics, and the unexpected similarities that can be found between two seemingly opposed subjects. At the core of the book lies her curiosity about the inception of creative thought - that flash of insight - experienced by writers and mathematicians alike. A rare work of non-fiction that intricately weaves together biography, memoir, history and philosophy, and written with prose of precision and poetic lucidity, The Weil Conjectures is nothing short of a complete seduction in the art of mathematics, and the mysterious nature of scientific and creative thought.
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'Beguiling ... The book unfurls effortlessly, loose and legato. There are no real revelations - the subjects are well known and long dead. There are no stakes; there is no suspense. I was riveted. Olsson is evocative on curiosity as an appetite of the mind, on the pleasure of glutting oneself on knowledge' -- Parul Sehgal * New York Times * A wonderful book ... Reading it is akin to kicking a can along the road of higher learning * Patti Smith * A vivid account of the relationship between Simone and Andre Weil takes in political action, unworldliness and the history of maths ... Uniquely among accounts of the Weils, Olsson creates a vivid sense of Simone grappling with the maths alongside us -- Lara Feigel * Guardian * A remarkable tour de force * Standpoint * A nuanced exploration of abstraction versus a lived life * Lit Hub * The Weil Conjectures is an alluring meditation on geometry, sacrifice and adolescent self-discovery, delivered in passionate, impressionistic bursts * Jordan Ellenberg, Sunday Times bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life * I loved The Weil Conjectures for Karen Olsson's humanising, playful approach to these very serious people, but also for her rigour, her thoughtfulness about writing and creativity, and her refreshing blend of two disciplines I tend to think of, erroneously, as irrevocably at odds: math and literature. The Weil Conjectures has that undefinable x common to all the best books. I can't wait to read it again * Lauren Elkin, author of Flaneuse * Deftly moving to and fro between Andre and Simone Weil's lives and her own search for mathematical clarity, Karen Olsson informs, persuades, inspires and delights this reader * Lily Tuck, author of The Double Life of Liliane * Beautiful and enigmatic, Karen Olsson's book draws us to the brink of spiritual and mathematical genius, to the edge of a field "between knowing and not knowing", to the verge of an audacious conjecture. The Weil Conjectures is a story of brilliant siblings - one philosopher, one mathematician - who spent their lives at the service of the unattainable. In haunting prose, Olsson asks us to remember, in the words of Simone Weil, that "the eternal part of the soul feeds on hunger". A true achievement * John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche * Few writers could convey with such brilliance and compassion the tensions between literature and mathematics, isolation and communion, logic and intuition, the annihilation of the self and a godly love for others * Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room * An unexpected and wholly original delight. By focusing on what has to be the most extraordinarily brilliant brother-sister pair of the last century, Karen Olsson takes us to a realm where sublime mathematical abstraction meets mystical love. The author's relaxed personal tone and novelistic eye for the telling detail make the book effortlessly readable * Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Goedel and Why Does the World Exist? *

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Övrig information

Karen Olsson is the author of the novels Waterloo and All the Houses. She has written about politics, science and popular culture for magazines including the New York Times Magazine and Texas Monthly, where she is a contributing editor, and has had work anthologized in Best American Science Writing and Best of the Best American Science Writing, among other places. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family. karenolsson.com @olssonic