The present article elaborates on a talk presented at the first "Mathematics and Narrative" conference (Mykonos, July 12-15, 2005). I am indebted to the organizers for their kind invitation, to the staff for their diligent assistance, and to the participants for illuminating talks and discussions that helped preparing this web-based version.
For the text-only version in Configurations, click here. (Configurations 15 (3) (2007), 195-226.)
For the German version , click here. ("Berechnungen zur Grenze der poetischen Freiheit. Fiktionales Erzählen und die Geschichte der Mathematik", in Andrea Albrecht et al (eds.) Zahlen, Zeichen und Figuren Mathematische Inspirationen in Kunst und Literatur, Berlin: De Gruyter (2011), pp. 564-599.)
For a full, web-based version of the article, follow the links below.
1. Introduction 2. Mathematics, History and Narrative - Three Kinds of Texts Unguru on History and Mathematics The Royal Road to Me Mathematics, History, Fiction 3. Suspension of Disbelief Coleridge on Suspension of Disbelief Borges on Fact and Fiction 4. Some Specific Examples Uncle Petros Carathéodory Hilbert Partition 5. Dramatizing the History of Mathematics Singh on Fermat History of Science as Epic Theater
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