The Evariste Galois Archive

'Tout voir, tout entendre,  ne perdre aucune idée', Evariste 
    Galois, 29/Oct/1831

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Biographical and Fictional Novels on Evariste Galois

"In France, about 1830, a new star of unimaginable brightness appeared in the heavens of pure mathematics ... Evariste Galois." Felix Klein
There are lots of mathematicians whose contribution to mathematics was incredible but you will not find any novel about their life. In most cases the reason is, that their life was too normal and too regular. No spectacular love affair, no excectional political activities. It's often difficult to find even some biographical facts about such mathematicians. But when it comes to Evariste Galois, things are different. Galois is one of the greatest mathematicians, and the events of his life cry out for fictionalization and novelization. It has all the elements a writer needs for a novel or even a thriller. Though the favorites of the gods die young, they also live eternally in the company of gods." said Fredrich Nietzsche in "The Birth of Tragedy". From Galois genius he could have been a favourite of the inhabitants of Mount Olympus, and he died young, way too young. We can't say, if he lives in the company of gods, but the tragic events of his life linger on in the hearts of contemporary mathematicians and scientists, and even in those who don't care about mathematics and science. Many biographies and novels make sure that it remains like this.
  • The French Mathematician. By Tom Petsinis
    Tony Rothman said about this book: "While reading Tom Petsinis's new novel about Evariste Galois, one wonders throughout whether Galois would be pleased with this portrait or would call his lawyer. Galois is not forthcoming. As his advocate I would be tempted to advise him to call not a lawyer, I think, but a book doctor. However, this case is one for the jury to decide."
  • Galois Silence (Galois Schweigen) by Bernd Klein (as PDF)
    Galois wouldn't have any problems with this book, because the fictitious and known aspects are never intermingled in this novel. Rothman postulated in his criticism about "The French Mathematician": "One is left feeling that a more effective strategy might have been to surround Galois by a group of third-persons trying to make out this character." This is in a way the strategy Klein has chosen. The biographical or better factual basis of this novel is a biography by Bernard Bychan, which is cited in its main parts. Around this biography he has woven various plot strands which illuminate complementary and contrasting aspects of his life, which can't be directly deduced from historical facts. In this novel you also find an answer to the question, what might have happened to Galois in our times. After reading this entertaining book, you will be a lot closer to the real Galois.
    Additional information: Autoren-Heute
  • Whom the Gods Love. The Story of Evariste Galois by Leopold Infeld A very entertaining romantic novel about Galois. There are lots of biographical details in this novel, but it's often difficult to differentiate between fictional and real events.
  • Alexandre Arnoux. Algorithme
    A novel in French published in 1948.



Written by Bernard Bychan; Last Modified: October 23, 2011


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