Abstract / Synopsis
The biography and historiography of Galois abound with conterfactual imaginations of how the course of mathematics would have been altered, had he not died so young. In the little know short story „The Day Without Evening,“ published in 1924, the Jewish-Austrian writer Leo Perutz essentially reiterates the usual narrative of the events leading to Galois‘ death, masked only by changing the name of the protagonist to Durval and transposing the setting to the Vienna of the beginning of the 20th century. But he is also wary of such counterfactual imaginations. This can be understood in the context of Augustine‘s theology, alluded to in the title of the story, which leads to an understanding of Perutz‘s reasoning on the different temporal order of artistic, scientific, and divine creations.
© Andrea Albrecht
Albrecht, A. "The Day Without Evening: Leo Perutz, Evariste Galois, and Augustine," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 2 Issue 1 (January 2012), pages 2-21. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201201.03 . Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol2/iss1/3
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