BBC Radio 3 The Essay: Literature and Mathematics

Marcus du Sautoy reveals that writers, just like musicians and visual artists, have found ways to use maths to structure their writing. Not only can you find mathematical ideas discussed in books such as Ian McEwan’s Solar or Bonnie Greer’s Entropy; but you can also find maths in the structure of many famous literary works, notably the recent Booker winner The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, whose chapters are each half the length of the previous one, causing the pace of the novel to accelerate towards the end.”


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"The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. " G H Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

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