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Measuring the World recreates the parallel but contrasting lives of two
geniuses of the German Enlightenment - the naturalist and explorer
Alexander von Humboldt and the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich
Gauss. Towards the end of the 18th century, these two brilliant young
Germans set out to measure the world. Humboldt, a Prussian aristocrat
schooled for greatness, negotiates savannah and jungle, climbs the highest
mountain then known to man, counts head lice on the heads of the natives,
and explores every hole in the ground. Gauss, a man born in poverty who
will be recognised as the greatest mathematician since Newton, does not
even need to leave his home in Göttingen to know that space is curved. He
can run prime numbers in his head, cannot imagine a life without women and
yet jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical
formula. Measuring the World is a novel of rare charm and readability,
distinguished by its sly humour and unforgettable characterization. It
brings the two eccentric geniuses to life, their longings and their
weaknesses, their balancing act between loneliness and love, absurdity and
greatness, failure and success.

Daniel Kehlmann—Measuring The World

12,95 €Prix
  • 9781847241146
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