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G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940 as his mathematical powers were declining, offers a brilliant and engaging account of mathematics as very much more than a science; when it was first published, Graham Greene hailed it alongside Henry James's notebooks as 'the best account of what it was like to be a creative artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword gives sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's life, with its rich store of anecdotes concerning his collaboration with the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his aphorisms and idiosyncrasies, and his passion for cricket. This is a unique account of the fascination of mathematics and of one of its most compelling exponents in modern times. ...Continua

- Preface: Charles Percy Snow

A Mathematician's Apology

Ha scritto il 11/09/12

Uhm. This book taught me that mathematicians are jerks who can't write.

But! In some passages the love of mathematics shines so bright that you could forgive everything else.

A Mathematician's Apology

Ha scritto il 27/12/09

A Non Mathematician's apology

As Hardy himself makes clear in the beginning, he would never have written such a book if his mathematical powers had not failed him in old age. I do feel like this book is more an apology for not being a mathematician anymore than for having been on

As Hardy himself makes clear in the beginning, he would never have written such a book if his mathematical powers had not failed him in old age. I do feel like this book is more an apology for not being a mathematician anymore than for having been one. As for all true loves, the time for judging and summings things up comes only when the joyful days of passion are over. I was hoping this book would give me an inspired first person view of what is higher mathematics and what is like to be a real mathematician. I found that it is not a good book for that, it doesn' t even try it. What it accomplishes instead is giving a precise, objective, cruel, marhematically clear picture of the drive, the ambition, the passion for excellence in any activity, be it a sport or a science that makes the life of the ones who dedicate their life to it so more pure and meaningful. It also poses some tough, fundamental questions regarding how much of your life one can dedicate to one single "abstract" passion without having to go trough some really bitter times and regrets in old age. My personal answer is that what really counts, in the end, is how much you loved and, what was sorely missing in Hardy's life, how much you express that love. But for some people, gifted and cursed at the same time, that is still not enough.

...Continua
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