By Janna Levin
Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems despatched shivers via Vienna’s highbrow circles and at once challenged Ludwig Wittgenstein’s dominant philosophy. Alan Turing’s mathematical genius helped him holiday the Nazi Enigma Code in the course of WWII. even though they by no means met, their lives surprisingly reflected one another—both have been fantastic, and either met with tragic ends. the following, a mysterious narrator intertwines those parallel lives right into a double helix of genius and soreness, splendidly taking pictures not just radiant, fragile minds but in addition the zeitgeist of the period.
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And even higher," I said. I am accustomed to being downgraded by businesspeople, lawyers, engineers, Washington hotshots, various scientists. Even their secretaries, who get their notions of what matters from television, hide their smiles behind their hands and give one another the high sign when I turn up--some incomprehensible goofball. So I allowed Vela to be as superior as she pleased, while Ravel-stein said I should have more proper pride and that it was phony of me to be so meek. But I wasn't inclined to go out of my way to defer to so many critics.
What he was suggesting was that I didn't have to accept Vela's behavior. When we went to the country she locked herself up in her room. Two solitudes were then created. That was what our summers in New England were like: under one sun, on one planet, there were these two separate existences. Vela was especially beautiful when she was silent. Silent, she seemed to be praying to her beauty. Ravelstein may have been aware of this. He came to New Hampshire to be with me very briefly, and he immediately understood what I had gotten into.
Rosamund, who was sitting beside me on the edge of the stone basin, did not feel shut out when I was reading. It had taken Ravelstein some time to get used to seeing Rosamund and me as a married pair. There was a kind of oddity about that because he took an unusual interest in his students, and Rosamund was one of them. He would have said, if asked about this, that given the sort of education they were getting, with its un usual emphasis "on the affects"--on love, not to beat around the bush--it would have been irresponsible to pretend that the teach ing could be separated from the binding of souls.
A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin