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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply superb, 27 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel (Kindle Edition)
This is a truly beautifully written book- by a first class Math maven- with a very engaging tone and 'personal' feel. Borges's art, too, no matter how abstruse the philosophy it reflects upon- or, indeed, creatively destroys- is always both courteous and intimate in a manner I can only call that of a true gentleman, for whom there is no difference between a Duke and a dustman.
There are a lot of books by Mathematicians as smart as the author but they are in a hurry to make a mark, to build a following, to achieve celebrity status. The result is they condescend where they ought to clarify and thus damage their own ability to advance in their own research programme.
The truth is writing for the layman, requires more not less effort on the part of the Mathematician, that too not of a meretriciously literary but purely mathematical sort. It requires a prodigious effort of the imagination to flesh out one's intuitions but so doing is a salutary exercise.
I feel a bit cheated that I did not read this book when it first came out. I feel angry that good books don't get hyped while all sorts of rubbish is pushed down your throat.
It was only thanks to a friend of mine- a Maths Prof- pointing me to a review of this book by the great Indian Mathematical Economist, K.Velupillai (who speaks a number of European languages and is a true connoisseur of Literature)- that I was able to discover this gem.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect fusion of mathematics and literary art, 22 April 2011
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Mr. Nadim Bakhshov "Nadim Bakhshov" (Bloomsbury, London) - See all my reviews
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There is something so magical and utterly transcendent in the writings of Borges. His closely and carefully studied pieces are marvels of contemporary literature.

This book draws out the mathematical details in the library of Babel in such a way that, like the marvellous The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story and the threads that run through Borges.

Here the writer tackles combinatorics and permutation.

Thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite short story explored ad infinitem (well...), 9 May 2014
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Love Borges? Love the Library of Babel? Love maths?

By this book. It's fabulous.

Explores the symbolism and mystery behind this most brilliant thought experiment.
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