Simone Weil: famous French philosopher, writer, political activist, mystic and sister to Andre, one of the most influential, yet overlooked, mathematicians of the twentieth century. These two extraordinary siblings formed an obsession for the author Karen Olsson, who studied mathematics at Harvard, only to turn to writing as a vocation.When Olsson got hold of the 1940 letters between the siblings, she found that they shared a curiosity about the inception of creative thought that flash of insight that Olsson experienced as both a maths student, and later, novelist. In tracing the lives of the Weil siblings, as Andre relentlessly pursued studies that became increasingly incomprehensible to Simone, and Simone questioned the value of such rarefied knowledge as it applied to the lived experience, Olsson examines her own time at university, how she came to be consumed by mathematics and the unexpected similarities that can be found between two seemingly opposed subjects.A rare work of non-fiction that intricately weaves together biography, memoir, history and philosophy, and written with prose of precision and poetic lucidity, The Weil Conjectures is nothing short of a complete seduction in the art of mathematics, and the mysterious nature of scientific and creative thought.
Author: Olsson, Karen
Publication date: 19/08/2019