a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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För immer in Honig (Forever in Honey) (2005)
Dietmar Dath
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Site visitor Hauke Reddmann writes from Germany to tell me about this experimental German novel which includes diagrams from category theory. (For those who might not know, category theory is an abstract branch of mathematics which attempts to find the common structure of all mathematics. So, for instance, although you might think that the study of surfaces in geometry and of fields in algebra seem quite different, category theory views them each as the study of some sort of relationship -- functors -- between some sorts of objects whether they are surfaces or fields. I think there are various opinions as to how useful this enterprise has turned out to be, but it certainly has its proponents.)

When I wrote to Reddmann to inquire further about the role of category theory in the book, he sent back this "colorful" description which I suppose gives you an idea of the sort of book this is. (Further evidence of the strangeness of this book can be found by visiting its website here.)

Contributed by Hauke Reddmann

Oh, this will gonna be a pig. First of all, Dath was chief editor of "Spex", Germans elitarist pop-leftwing music mag. Which means the whole book can only be understood in the frame of postmodernist circle-jerk discourse (pardon my french). And category theory is used as a me-tougher. (When I'm in despiteful mode my puns are even more brilliant :-) Things and verbs, you know. Marxism was too much about things when life is a verb. And category theory is the mathematic version of a verb. Hey, even Sokal could learn from me when conjuring up gobbledygook :-)

Anyway. The book has an annex about the fundaments of category theory, it is dedicated to Grothendieck, but I'd say math only occurs abused as far-out analogy under poetical license. John Baez meets Joan Baez meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Hauke Reddmann has written again with information about another book by Dath. It sounds to me as if it is not sufficiently mathematical to justify having its own entry in the database, so I will just include his remarks here for anyone who is interested:

Contributed by Hauke Reddmann

To understand Dath, you have to understand his scene. It's an ultra-intellectual one, meaning you can and should be as hermetic as possible. Anyone crying out "LOLWUT?" automatically disqualifies himself as a doofus. And what could be more hermetically than math (and which math could be more hermetic than category theory - also note the scene is leftist, so Grothendieck is obvious reference fodder)? This prelude holds for all his works.

Now to the other novel:
Am blinden Ufer ["On the Blind Shore"]. Eine Geschichte vom Strand und aus den Schnitten
Roman. Berlin: Verbrecher Verlag 2000. Neuauflage: 2009

From the doofus view, the plot reminds a bit of Schätzings "Swarm". (Don't say that when Dath is standing near, or he might challenge you for a death duel with Lacan quotes :-) The "Schnitten" (cuts) are sort of a parallel universe. It's stated explicitely that their nature is topological, also the term "Calabi-Yau manifold" is dropped. Unluckily this *means* absolutely nothing, they could as well be the fever dream of Nietzsche on his death bed and nothing would change for the plot.

Here is a more general remark from Hauke written after the release of a new work by Dath which will also not be getting its own entry in this database:

Contributed by Hauke Reddmann

Math, specifically category theory, is a recurring theme in the oeuvre of Dietmar Dath, and you hardly will find a work of him lacking it. Unfortunately (for this site), many times it rather has decorative than plot character and thus only a selection of works is listed here. If you are interested in more, start at his German Wiki page.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to För immer in Honig (Forever in Honey)
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Dirac by Dietmar Dath
  2. Pröfung läuft: Eine Erzählung in n Testabschnitten by Dietmar Dath
  3. The Fairytale of the Completely Symmetrical Butterfly by Dietmar Dath
  4. Gentzen oder: Betrunken aufräumen [Gentzen or Cleaning Up Drunk] by Dietmar Dath
  5. Intoxicating Heights (Höhenrausch. Die Mathematik des XX. Jahrhunderts in zwanzig Gehirnen) by Dietmar Dath
  6. Nullstellen by Dietmar Dath
  7. Going Out by Scarlett Thomas
  8. Pascal's Wager by Nancy Rue
  9. Gaming Instinct (Spieltrieb) by Juli Zeh
  10. La Conjecture de Syracuse by Antoine Billot
Ratings for För immer in Honig (Forever in Honey):
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
2.33/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
2.67/5 (3 votes)

TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory, Logic/Set Theory,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)