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Circles DisturbedThe Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative$
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Apostolos Doxiadis and Barry Mazur

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149042.001.0001

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Mathematics and Narrative: A Narratological Perspective

Mathematics and Narrative: A Narratological Perspective

(p.481) Chapter 14 Mathematics and Narrative: A Narratological Perspective
Circles Disturbed

Uri Margolin

, Apostolos Doxiadis, Barry Mazur
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the manifold relations between narrative and mathematics from the point of view of narratology. In particular, it considers some of the ways in which we can speak of mathematics in literature; for example, the portrayal in a literary narrative of the destiny of an actual or fictional mathematician as a function of his intellectual endeavors; or the use of mathematical notions (infinity, infinite regression, branching time) as the key thematic element or basic initial situation of a narrative. The chapter also discusses the structural similarities and differences between how mathematical texts and narratives treat the creation of imaginary worlds, as well as the criteria of truth, levels and hierarchies of representation involved in this process. Finally, it explores the logical requirements for computer simulations of future scenarios, along with the mathematical concepts, models, and methods used in theories of narrative.

Keywords:   narrative, mathematics, narratology, literature, literary narrative, truth, mathematical concepts, mathematical models, computer simulations

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