The enchantress of numbers and the magic noose of poetry: Literature, mathematics, and mysticism in the nineteenth century

Imogen Forbes-Macphail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between poetry and mathematics in nineteenth-century thought, particularly in relation to the notion of the world as a text, utterance, program, or formula created by God. In the works of writers and mathematicians as diverse as Coleridge, Hopkins, Lovelace, and Babbage, poetry and mathematics are frequently conceptualized in terms of one another, or envisaged as unified in the context of the world as Divine Logos. Furthermore, the idea of the world as a text or formula which theoretically could be deciphered often translates into an ambition to incarnate language or mathematics into reality itself through providing a 'uniting link' (Lovelace) between the material and symbolic worlds © Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-156
JournalJournal of Language, Literature and Culture
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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