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Re: R: [NABOKV-L] "Pale Fire" GS to CHW

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On 5/11/06 17:34, "Chaswe@AOL.COM" <Chaswe@AOL.COM> wrote:

> In a message dated 05/11/2006 16:38:38 GMT Standard Time,

> gshiman@OPTONLINE.NET writes:

>> That is outside of Nabokov-L but, Charles, here is fascinating modern sample

>> of what you describe. In short it is about Jewish mathematic genius from

>> Russia, Grisha Perelman, who chose not to play it safe after becoming

>> ³conspicuous² person. G-d bless him.

>>

>>

>>

>> http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060828fa_fact2

>

>

> George,

>

> This is a fascinating article, full of quotable comments from Perelman. It is

> long, and I must take some time to digest it.

>

> Did VN ever refuse any prizes, literary or otherwise? It is of course totally

> true that Establishment approval of anything is intellectually worthless, but

> financially helpful. In the case of genuine genius it is nearly always belated

> -- but, as always, there are exceptions.

>

> Charles

>

> George/Charles: I agree that Nasar & Gruber [N & G] have produced a most

> readable ³human-interest² New Yorker piece on subjects that bristle with both

> specific technicalities (the Poincare Comjecture [PC]) and more general

> problems (the nature of mathematical proof and the all-too-human urge to claim

> precedence). On the former, N & G don¹t make it clear that the PC as

> originally mooted circa 1902 applies generally to manifolds of dimension N.

> For N = 0 and N = 1, PC is trivially true. N & G mention Freedman¹s proof for

> N = 4 but fail to honour Stephen Smale (with whom I was privileged to study)

> who proved PC for all N >= 5. So, that¹s why the N = 3 case remained a

> strange challenge since 3-dimensional space is what we all master before the

> age of 2.

>

> Smale was a fine up-yours rebel (not unlike Perelman) but had no qualms about

> accepting his Fields medal (1966). In fact, his sublimated grouse at the time

> was: why didn¹t he get it in 1962! See

> http://www.ams.org/notices/200011/rev-kirby.pdf

> There is, as always, a Nabokovian link Smale as commie agitator protesting

> at a Moscow maths conference.

>

> I worked with another Fiields medalist, Rene Thom (creator Catastrophe

> Theory), and met many others. Entre nous, they are ALL stark, effin¹ MAD!

> BUT if you seek a genuine weirdo genius who makes Smale, Perelman and even

> Newton look like clean, conforming Mormon missionaries (³Don¹t quite see why I

> write in this vein²**), I offer Alexander Grothendieck yes, another Russian

> Jew, born Berlin 1928 his father murdered at Auschwitz 1942 -- but where is

> Grothendieck now? Nobody knows if he¹s dead or alive. He just walked away in

> August 1991 last seen in the Pyrenees. He accepted the Fields Medal pronto,

> but later on turned down the equally enriching Crafoord Prize from the Swedish

> Royal Academy of Sciences. He did have the courtesy to write a sweet merci¹:

>

> ³Je suis persuade que la seule epreuve decisive pour la fecundite d¹idees ou

> d¹une vision nouvelles est celle du temps. La fecunditite se reconnait par la

> progeniture, et non par les honneurs²

>

> ** Chap. 1: Despair (Otchayanie) -- VN

>

> Charles: I would be wary of confusing agenda-driven establishments¹ such as

> the Nobel Prize

> Committee esp. for Literature with the mathematics community,¹ the various

> mathematical associations that hand out the gongs and cabbage. When you¹ve

> digested N & G, I think you¹ll see the differences. As a member of the MAA, I

> was a recipient of Perelman¹s initial email and it¹s since been heavily

> debated in-house¹ with no peep in the popular pess until Perelman¹s rejection

> of the Fileds Medal. Some of us will always consider Grishka as a Fields

> Medalist!¹ Others consider that his rejection was COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. He

> could have remained LESS CONSPICUOUS by quietly accepting it! How many of you

> can NAME the other 3 recipients for 2006?? IF Perelman is offered the Clay

> Institute $1 million (or share thereof -- it may take 2 years to validate

> who-proved-what-when), he is wisely reserving his judgement re-acceptance. The

> funds could be well spent in St Petersburg Grothendieck used much of his

> prize moneys to fund his ecological venture ³Survivre et Vivre,²

>

> BTW: there¹s a nice MYTH about why there¹s no NOBEL PRIZE for Mathematics.

> Some say that Nobel¹s wife had an affair with a mathematician while he was

> planning his categories. NOT SO! The bugger never married!

>

> Several mathematicians HAVE won the Nobel but for their work in Economics.

>

> My guess is that VN would have proudly accepted the Nobel for Lit it¹s a

> SCANDALE that he was never offered it. We know that J P Sartre *** was forced

> to refuse under CP pressure. Pasternak too?

>

> *** refered to snidely as a ³Communist reviwer² in VN¹s Foreword to Despair.¹

>

>

>

> PS: two snippets from the NY article.

>

> Ultimately, he received several job offers. But he declined them all, and in

> the summer of 1995 returned to St. Petersburg, to his old job at the Steklov

> Institute, where he was paid less than a hundred dollars a month. (He told a

> friend that he had saved enough money in the United States to live on for the

> rest of his life.) .

> //

> The Internet made it possible for Perelman to work alone while continuing to

> tap a common pool of knowledge. Perelman searched Hamilton¹s papers for clues

> to his thinking and gave several seminars on his work.

>

> Stan Kelly-Bootle

Search the archive: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/archives/nabokv-l.html

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu

Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm

View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm

> In a message dated 05/11/2006 16:38:38 GMT Standard Time,

> gshiman@OPTONLINE.NET writes:

>> That is outside of Nabokov-L but, Charles, here is fascinating modern sample

>> of what you describe. In short it is about Jewish mathematic genius from

>> Russia, Grisha Perelman, who chose not to play it safe after becoming

>> ³conspicuous² person. G-d bless him.

>>

>>

>>

>> http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060828fa_fact2

>

>

> George,

>

> This is a fascinating article, full of quotable comments from Perelman. It is

> long, and I must take some time to digest it.

>

> Did VN ever refuse any prizes, literary or otherwise? It is of course totally

> true that Establishment approval of anything is intellectually worthless, but

> financially helpful. In the case of genuine genius it is nearly always belated

> -- but, as always, there are exceptions.

>

> Charles

>

> George/Charles: I agree that Nasar & Gruber [N & G] have produced a most

> readable ³human-interest² New Yorker piece on subjects that bristle with both

> specific technicalities (the Poincare Comjecture [PC]) and more general

> problems (the nature of mathematical proof and the all-too-human urge to claim

> precedence). On the former, N & G don¹t make it clear that the PC as

> originally mooted circa 1902 applies generally to manifolds of dimension N.

> For N = 0 and N = 1, PC is trivially true. N & G mention Freedman¹s proof for

> N = 4 but fail to honour Stephen Smale (with whom I was privileged to study)

> who proved PC for all N >= 5. So, that¹s why the N = 3 case remained a

> strange challenge since 3-dimensional space is what we all master before the

> age of 2.

>

> Smale was a fine up-yours rebel (not unlike Perelman) but had no qualms about

> accepting his Fields medal (1966). In fact, his sublimated grouse at the time

> was: why didn¹t he get it in 1962! See

> http://www.ams.org/notices/200011/rev-kirby.pdf

> There is, as always, a Nabokovian link Smale as commie agitator protesting

> at a Moscow maths conference.

>

> I worked with another Fiields medalist, Rene Thom (creator Catastrophe

> Theory), and met many others. Entre nous, they are ALL stark, effin¹ MAD!

> BUT if you seek a genuine weirdo genius who makes Smale, Perelman and even

> Newton look like clean, conforming Mormon missionaries (³Don¹t quite see why I

> write in this vein²**), I offer Alexander Grothendieck yes, another Russian

> Jew, born Berlin 1928 his father murdered at Auschwitz 1942 -- but where is

> Grothendieck now? Nobody knows if he¹s dead or alive. He just walked away in

> August 1991 last seen in the Pyrenees. He accepted the Fields Medal pronto,

> but later on turned down the equally enriching Crafoord Prize from the Swedish

> Royal Academy of Sciences. He did have the courtesy to write a sweet merci¹:

>

> ³Je suis persuade que la seule epreuve decisive pour la fecundite d¹idees ou

> d¹une vision nouvelles est celle du temps. La fecunditite se reconnait par la

> progeniture, et non par les honneurs²

>

> ** Chap. 1: Despair (Otchayanie) -- VN

>

> Charles: I would be wary of confusing agenda-driven establishments¹ such as

> the Nobel Prize

> Committee esp. for Literature with the mathematics community,¹ the various

> mathematical associations that hand out the gongs and cabbage. When you¹ve

> digested N & G, I think you¹ll see the differences. As a member of the MAA, I

> was a recipient of Perelman¹s initial email and it¹s since been heavily

> debated in-house¹ with no peep in the popular pess until Perelman¹s rejection

> of the Fileds Medal. Some of us will always consider Grishka as a Fields

> Medalist!¹ Others consider that his rejection was COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE. He

> could have remained LESS CONSPICUOUS by quietly accepting it! How many of you

> can NAME the other 3 recipients for 2006?? IF Perelman is offered the Clay

> Institute $1 million (or share thereof -- it may take 2 years to validate

> who-proved-what-when), he is wisely reserving his judgement re-acceptance. The

> funds could be well spent in St Petersburg Grothendieck used much of his

> prize moneys to fund his ecological venture ³Survivre et Vivre,²

>

> BTW: there¹s a nice MYTH about why there¹s no NOBEL PRIZE for Mathematics.

> Some say that Nobel¹s wife had an affair with a mathematician while he was

> planning his categories. NOT SO! The bugger never married!

>

> Several mathematicians HAVE won the Nobel but for their work in Economics.

>

> My guess is that VN would have proudly accepted the Nobel for Lit it¹s a

> SCANDALE that he was never offered it. We know that J P Sartre *** was forced

> to refuse under CP pressure. Pasternak too?

>

> *** refered to snidely as a ³Communist reviwer² in VN¹s Foreword to Despair.¹

>

>

>

> PS: two snippets from the NY article.

>

> Ultimately, he received several job offers. But he declined them all, and in

> the summer of 1995 returned to St. Petersburg, to his old job at the Steklov

> Institute, where he was paid less than a hundred dollars a month. (He told a

> friend that he had saved enough money in the United States to live on for the

> rest of his life.) .

> //

> The Internet made it possible for Perelman to work alone while continuing to

> tap a common pool of knowledge. Perelman searched Hamilton¹s papers for clues

> to his thinking and gave several seminars on his work.

>

> Stan Kelly-Bootle

Search the archive: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/archives/nabokv-l.html

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu

Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm

View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm