Let's start at the beginning. I was reading Don DeLillo's Ratner's Star. As a great fan of DeLillo I was excited to read this one as it is about a mathematician in a sci-fi setting. That sounds like 2 great things combined. Unfortunately, this is either a bad novel or I don't understand it. But surely it is a false dichotomy! Which is my favourite logical fallacy by the way.
Fast forward a couple of days: sifting through my girlfriend's stack of books I encountered the Penguin Classics edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland I gave her. And what a blast it is to read. There are so many funny references to logic, Victorian culture, children rhymes and yet it doesn't read like some constructed story. I especially like how natural it feels for Through The Looking-Glass to be contrived as a movement on a chess board. It's like rederijker poetry, only less contrived. If
Lewis Carroll was still alive, I would love to see this idea worked out: take random chess problems and create a story involving Alice out of it. Or perhaps this is something for a creative writing class.
Another thought that struck me was the order in which I read books. First Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, then Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. If I can give you a word of advice: do it the other way around. Against the Day takes Through the Looking-Glass's premise and cubes it.
This post is both a commercial for mathematical literature and an apology. I should return to TeX blogging, and start doing stuff on computational composition soon, but for now I'm busy with writing B.Sc. reports and papers for my courses in lattice and sheaf theory. Apparently all this writing drains me of things to blog about.
By the way, David Foster Wallace's posthumous (this word sounds too much like its etymological origins in English) novel The Pale King is published.