Abstract / Synopsis

In this article we explore mathematical allusions in Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. We argue that both the quantity and sophistication of these allusions are evidence for Melville’s high level of mathematical knowledge and ability. We discuss some of the most compelling mathematical imagery, as well as giving background on the several mathematicians and mathematics books mentioned in the novel. We also include some biographical details supporting the assertion that Melville had an unusually good mathematical education.



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