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Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

by

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Wallace approaches his subject matter with a surprising degree of humor, genuine enthusiasm, and technical depth....Many of us can remember enjoying a professor who seemed to occupy his own rarified air of cognition, whose stream-of-consciousness ramblings left you confused, frustrated, and bewilderingly well-informed. One would hope for more pop technical 'booklets' from Wallace in the future, were infinity not such a tough act to follow." Darren Abrecht, Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

"[I]t's hard to figure out just who the book is for. I relished Wallace's passionately erudite tone and the many exciting mathematical moments he helped me revisit, but there was nothing in Everything that I hadn't learned as an undergraduate math major. On the other hand, readers who haven't taken at least two semesters of calculus will probably have a hard time keeping up, despite Wallace's many protestations to the contrary. If you enjoyed math but quit after calculus because you didn't have room in your schedule; if you've forgotten quite a bit over the past few decades and want a stylish reminder; if you regret having focused on the discipline's real-world applications and wish you'd paid more attention to its philosophical issues; or if you're the captain of your middle school math team and have begun working through your big sister's calculus book because you're bored, then you'll love this book. Everyone else, try it anyway and prove me wrong." Polly Shulman, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The best-selling author of Infinite Jest on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity. One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.

Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.

Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and highprofile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.

Review:

"[T]his book is as weird and wonderful as you'd expect." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[C]lever, extensively footnoted, and shockingly readable....A brilliant antidote both to boring math textbooks and to pop-culture math books that emphasize the discoverer over the discovery." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"[E]ngaging, self-conscious, playful, and often breathless." Library Journal

Book News Annotation:

California novelist and essayist Wallace contributes to the series of popular technical writing by examining a set of mathematical achievements that he finds to be extremely abstract and technical but also extremely profound, interesting, and beautiful. He writes for readers who have no technical background, and includes sections—clearly marked—for those who do. He has not indexed his work.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of Infinite Jest takes on the 2,000 year-old quest to understand infinity. Wallace brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.

Synopsis:

Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? Wallace examines one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity, exploring the 19th century's mathematical genius Cantor's answer to the question.

Synopsis:

The best-selling author of Infinite Jest on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity.

Synopsis:

One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.

Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.

Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.

Synopsis:

"A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant.TheExegesisis the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasnand#8217;t a legend and he wasnand#8217;t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius."and#8212;Jonathan Lethem Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches,The Exegesis of Philip K. Dickis the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this will be the definitive presentation of Dickand#8217;s brilliant, and epic, final work. In theExegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called "2-3-74," a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe "transformed into information." In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit, adding to, revising, and discarding theory after theory, mixing in dreams and visionary experiences as they occurred, and pulling it all together in three late novels known as the VALIS trilogy. In this abridgment, Jackson and Lethem serve as guides, taking the reader through theExegesisand establishing connections with moments in Dickand#8217;s life and work.

About the Author

David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) is the author of Infinite Jest, Girl with Curious Hair, Everything and More, The Broom of the System, and other fiction and nonfiction. Among his honors, he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393003383
Author:
Wallace, David Foster
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Dick, Philip K.
Author:
Lethem, Jonathan
Author:
Jackson, Pamela
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Logic
Subject:
Infinity
Subject:
Infinite
Subject:
History -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Infinite -- History.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Mathematics - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Great Discoveries
Series Volume:
no. 1
Publication Date:
20031031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 16-pp insert
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Popular Surveys and Recreational
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Math

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393003383 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Wallace approaches his subject matter with a surprising degree of humor, genuine enthusiasm, and technical depth....Many of us can remember enjoying a professor who seemed to occupy his own rarified air of cognition, whose stream-of-consciousness ramblings left you confused, frustrated, and bewilderingly well-informed. One would hope for more pop technical 'booklets' from Wallace in the future, were infinity not such a tough act to follow." (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review A Day" by , "[I]t's hard to figure out just who the book is for. I relished Wallace's passionately erudite tone and the many exciting mathematical moments he helped me revisit, but there was nothing in Everything that I hadn't learned as an undergraduate math major. On the other hand, readers who haven't taken at least two semesters of calculus will probably have a hard time keeping up, despite Wallace's many protestations to the contrary. If you enjoyed math but quit after calculus because you didn't have room in your schedule; if you've forgotten quite a bit over the past few decades and want a stylish reminder; if you regret having focused on the discipline's real-world applications and wish you'd paid more attention to its philosophical issues; or if you're the captain of your middle school math team and have begun working through your big sister's calculus book because you're bored, then you'll love this book. Everyone else, try it anyway and prove me wrong." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review" by , "[T]his book is as weird and wonderful as you'd expect."
"Review" by , "[C]lever, extensively footnoted, and shockingly readable....A brilliant antidote both to boring math textbooks and to pop-culture math books that emphasize the discoverer over the discovery."
"Review" by , "[E]ngaging, self-conscious, playful, and often breathless."
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of Infinite Jest takes on the 2,000 year-old quest to understand infinity. Wallace brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.
"Synopsis" by , Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? Wallace examines one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity, exploring the 19th century's mathematical genius Cantor's answer to the question.
"Synopsis" by , The best-selling author of Infinite Jest on the two-thousand-year-old quest to understand infinity.
"Synopsis" by , One of the outstanding voices of his generation, David Foster Wallace has won a large and devoted following for the intellectual ambition and bravura style of his fiction and essays. Now he brings his considerable talents to the history of one of math's most enduring puzzles: the seemingly paradoxical nature of infinity.

Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time and may have hastened his mental breakdown, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology.

Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.
"Synopsis" by , "A great and calamitous sequence of arguments with the universe: poignant, terrifying, ludicrous, and brilliant.TheExegesisis the sort of book associated with legends and madmen, but Dick wasnand#8217;t a legend and he wasnand#8217;t mad. He lived among us, and was a genius."and#8212;Jonathan Lethem Based on thousands of pages of typed and handwritten notes, journal entries, letters, and story sketches,The Exegesis of Philip K. Dickis the magnificent and imaginative final work of an author who dedicated his life to questioning the nature of reality and perception, the malleability of space and time, and the relationship between the human and the divine. Edited and introduced by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, this will be the definitive presentation of Dickand#8217;s brilliant, and epic, final work. In theExegesis, Dick documents his eight-year attempt to fathom what he called "2-3-74," a postmodern visionary experience of the entire universe "transformed into information." In entries that sometimes ran to hundreds of pages, Dick tried to write his way into the heart of a cosmic mystery that tested his powers of imagination and invention to the limit, adding to, revising, and discarding theory after theory, mixing in dreams and visionary experiences as they occurred, and pulling it all together in three late novels known as the VALIS trilogy. In this abridgment, Jackson and Lethem serve as guides, taking the reader through theExegesisand establishing connections with moments in Dickand#8217;s life and work.
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