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Literature and mathematics: the difference

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Abstract:

This article approaches the difference between literature and mathematics by considering the role it played in debates about the place in literature of difference in general over the last few decades. This leads on to questions about which literary texts are most likely to invoke mathematical elements. For instance, is there a correlation between gender or genre and an interest in mathematics? Do the texts which are most concerned with the mathematical tend to play down or to emphasize the difference between it and literature, to figure the relationship between the two as a difference or as an equation? And, especially, are such (mathematical) questions about generalizations useful, pertinent, desirable in the study of literary texts?

Keywords: DECONSTRUCTION; ENUMERATION; GENERALIZATION; GEOMETRY; LITERATURE; MATHEMATICS; NUMBER; SPECIFICITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/jrs.2007.070302

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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