Mathknow pp 9-25 | Cite as

Mathematics and literature

  • Andrew Crumey
Part of the MS&A book series (MS&A, volume 3)


Euclid’s Elements is not a novel — but it could have been. Mathematics differs in obvious ways from conventional artistic literature, yet there are also similarities, explored here through writers including Plato, Galileo, Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll. By considering possible definitions of what a novel is — using ideas from E. M. Forster, Mikhail Bakhtin and Gérard Genette — it is argued that the fundamental difference between conventional mathematical and artistic literature is one of form rather than content.


Character Time Narrative Discourse Artistic Literature Folk Tale Omniscient Narration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Crumey
    • 1
  1. 1.School of English Literature, Language and LinguisticsNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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