[FOM] Borges and Mathematics

Joao Marcos jmarcos at dimap.ufrn.br
Sun Nov 5 10:16:51 EST 2006

> Can anyone in this list tell us how much Mathematics Borges actually knew?

Borges was certainly not a "mathematician" stricto senso, but it seems
he knew more than enough about modern mathematics so as to produce
several stories in which mathematical concepts are anything but
central ("The Aleph", "The Library of Babel", "The Book of Sand", "The
Garden of Forking Paths").

A nice book on the matter called "Borges y las Matemáticas" was
written not long ago by Guillermo Martínez
(http://guillermomartinez.8m.net/CV/publicacionesingles.htm), a
competent Argentinian academic logician and best-selling novelist.  It
can be bought through Amazon.

There is also a book called "Unthinking Thinking. Jorges Luis Borges,
Mathematics, and the New Physics", by Floyd Merrell, but that one I
haven't read.

There is probably as much of modern mathematics and philosophy to be
found in Borges as there is of kabbala and mythology.  His whole
oeuvre, full of mirrors, labyrinths and infinity, is an exploration
into paradox.

Joao Marcos

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