Borges and Mathematics (Paperback)
Borges and Mathematics is a short book of essays that explores the scientific thinking of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Around half of the book consists of two “lectures” focused on mathematics. The rest of the book reflects on the relationship between literature, artistic creation, physics, and mathematics more generally. Written in a way that will be accessible even to those “who can only count to ten,” the book presents a bravura demonstration of the intricate links between the worlds of sciences and arts, and it is a thought-provoking call to dialog for readers from both traditions. The author, Guillermo Martínez, is both a recognized writer, whose murder mystery The Oxford Murders has been translated into thirty-five languages, and a PhD in mathematics.
Contents: Borges and Mathematics: First Lecture; Borges and Mathematics: Second Lecture; The Golem and Artificial Intelligence; The Short Story as Logical System; A Margin Too Narrow; Euclid, or the Aesthetics of Mathematical Reasoning; Solutions and Disillusions; The Pythagorean Twins; The Music of Chance (Interview with Gregory Chaikin); Literature and Rationality; Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad One?; A Small, Small God; God’s Sinkhole.
This book was originally published in Spanish as Borges y la matemática (2003). It has been translated with generous support from the Latino Cultural Center at Purdue University.
- Presents complex mathematical and literary concepts in a way that is accessible to non-specialists.
- Promotes dialog between readers from both humanist and scientific traditions.
- Expands understanding of the Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, including presenting some never-before-translated work.
The cover image showing an ascending, curling staircase reflects the intricacies of Borges' thinking and was taken by Scott Schumacher. More examples of his work can be found at www.veryloud.com (email: scott [at] veryloud [dot] com).
About the Author(s):
Guillermo Martínez is an internationally recognized Argentine writer who also holds a PhD in mathematics. His short story “Vast Hell” was published in The New Yorker (2009), and his novel The Oxford Murders (2003) has been translated into thirty-five languages. He is also the author of four more novels, including Regarding Roderer (1992) and The Book of Murder (2007), as well as several books of essays, including Gödel (para todos) (with Gustavo Piñero). Martínez has participated in the Iowa International Writing Program and was a fellow at the MacDowell and Civitella Ranieri foundations.
Andrea G. Labinger has published numerous translations of Latin American fiction. Among the many authors she has translated are Sabina Berman, Carlos Cerda, Daína Chaviano, Mempo Giardinelli, and Luisa Valenzuela. She has been a finalist three times in the PEN USA competition. Recent translations include Ángela Pradelli’s Friends of Mine (2012) and Ana María Shua’s Death as a Side Effect (2010).