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Today's quote:

Sunday, March 27, 2022

I've just discovered Daniel Kehlmann


Born in 1975 in Munich, Daniel Kehlmann found his way all the way to Batemans Bay where I found the eight-hour audio recording of his book "Measuring the World" in my favourite op-shop. What a find!

"Measuring the World" recreates the parallel but contrasting lives of two geniuses of the German Enlightenment - the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. Towards the end of the 18th century, these two brilliant young Germans set out to measure the world.

Humboldt, a Prussian aristocrat schooled for greatness, negotiates savannah and jungle, climbs the highest mountain then known to man, counts head lice on the heads of the natives, and explores every hole in the ground.

Gauss, a man born in poverty who will be recognised as the greatest mathematician since Newton, does not even need to leave his home in Göttingen to know that space is curved. He can run prime numbers in his head, cannot imagine a life without women and yet jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula.


For the German original, click here


And while I'm still listening to the audio book, I've already ordered the paperback (it's also available at archive.org) and the movie in German.



What a find!

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