The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel

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9780195334579: The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel

"The Library of Babel" is arguably Jorge Luis Borges' best known story--memorialized along with Borges on an Argentine postage stamp. Now, in The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel, William Goldbloom Bloch takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematical ideas hidden within one of the classic works of modern literature.

Written in the vein of Douglas R. Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach, this original and imaginative book sheds light on one of Borges' most complex, richly layered works. Bloch begins each chapter with a mathematical idea--combinatorics, topology, geometry, information theory--followed by examples and illustrations that put flesh on the theoretical bones. In this way, he provides many fascinating insights into Borges' Library. He explains, for instance, a straightforward way to calculate how many books are in the Library--an easily notated but literally unimaginable number--and also shows that, if each book were the size of a grain of sand, the entire universe could only hold a fraction of the books in the Library. Indeed, if each book were the size of a proton, our universe would still not be big enough to hold anywhere near all the books.

Given Borges' well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature but also exposes the reader--including those more inclined to the literary world--to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :


William Goldbloom Bloch is Professor of Mathematics at Wheaton College.

Review :


"Mr. Bloch, professor of mathematics at Wheaton College, has woven an elegant, ingenious, scholarly interpretation of Borges's text that contradicts the disingenuous 'unimaginable' of his title."--New York Sun


"For the reader of Borges, some of Bloch's observations may offer a useful new way of engaging with the themes of the fiction." -- American Scientist


"You need no advanced mathematics to understand 'The Library of Babel' but chances are good that if you like the story, you'll enjoy Professor Bloch's excursions." -- Mathematical Association of America Review


"Given Borges' well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature, but also exposes the reader - including those more inclined to the literary world - to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas."--Mathematical Reviews


Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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W.L. Bloch
Edité par Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2008)
ISBN 10 : 0195334574 ISBN 13 : 9780195334579
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Library of Babel is arguably Jorge Luis Borges best known story-memorialized along with Borges on an Argentine postage stamp. Now, in The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges Library of Babel, William Goldbloom Bloch takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematical ideas hidden within one of the classic works of modern literature. Written in the vein of Douglas R. Hofstadter s Pulitzer Prize-winning Godel, Escher, Bach, this original and imaginative book sheds light on one of Borges most complex, richly layered works. Bloch begins each chapter with a mathematical idea-combinatorics, topology, geometry, information theory-followed by examples and illustrations that put flesh on the theoretical bones. In this way, he provides many fascinating insights into Borges Library. He explains, for instance, a straightforward way to calculate how many books are in the Library-an easily notated but literally unimaginable number-and also shows that, if each book were the size of a grain of sand, the entire universe could only hold a fraction of the books in the Library.Indeed, if each book were the size of a proton, our universe would still not be big enough to hold anywhere near all the books. Given Borges well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature but also exposes the reader-including those more inclined to the literary world-to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780195334579

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W.L. Bloch
Edité par Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2008)
ISBN 10 : 0195334574 ISBN 13 : 9780195334579
Neuf(s) Couverture rigide Quantité : 10
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Library of Babel is arguably Jorge Luis Borges best known story-memorialized along with Borges on an Argentine postage stamp. Now, in The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges Library of Babel, William Goldbloom Bloch takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematical ideas hidden within one of the classic works of modern literature. Written in the vein of Douglas R. Hofstadter s Pulitzer Prize-winning Godel, Escher, Bach, this original and imaginative book sheds light on one of Borges most complex, richly layered works. Bloch begins each chapter with a mathematical idea-combinatorics, topology, geometry, information theory-followed by examples and illustrations that put flesh on the theoretical bones. In this way, he provides many fascinating insights into Borges Library. He explains, for instance, a straightforward way to calculate how many books are in the Library-an easily notated but literally unimaginable number-and also shows that, if each book were the size of a grain of sand, the entire universe could only hold a fraction of the books in the Library.Indeed, if each book were the size of a proton, our universe would still not be big enough to hold anywhere near all the books. Given Borges well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature but also exposes the reader-including those more inclined to the literary world-to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas. N° de réf. du libraire AOP9780195334579

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W.L. Bloch
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ISBN 10 : 0195334574 ISBN 13 : 9780195334579
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Library of Babel is arguably Jorge Luis Borges best known story-memorialized along with Borges on an Argentine postage stamp. Now, in The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges Library of Babel, William Goldbloom Bloch takes readers on a fascinating tour of the mathematical ideas hidden within one of the classic works of modern literature. Written in the vein of Douglas R. Hofstadter s Pulitzer Prize-winning Godel, Escher, Bach, this original and imaginative book sheds light on one of Borges most complex, richly layered works. Bloch begins each chapter with a mathematical idea-combinatorics, topology, geometry, information theory-followed by examples and illustrations that put flesh on the theoretical bones. In this way, he provides many fascinating insights into Borges Library. He explains, for instance, a straightforward way to calculate how many books are in the Library-an easily notated but literally unimaginable number-and also shows that, if each book were the size of a grain of sand, the entire universe could only hold a fraction of the books in the Library.Indeed, if each book were the size of a proton, our universe would still not be big enough to hold anywhere near all the books. Given Borges well-known affection for mathematics, this exploration of the story through the eyes of a humanistic mathematician makes a unique and important contribution to the body of Borgesian criticism. Bloch not only illuminates one of the great short stories of modern literature but also exposes the reader-including those more inclined to the literary world-to many intriguing and entrancing mathematical ideas. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780195334579

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William Goldbloom Bloch
Edité par Oxford University Press (2008)
ISBN 10 : 0195334574 ISBN 13 : 9780195334579
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Description du livre Oxford University Press, 2008. Hardcover. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 0195334574

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