Measuring the World In 1828, mathematician Carl Freidrich Gauss went to a conference in Berlin, as a guest of Alexander von Humboldt, naturalist and explorer. It is from… Measuring the World In 1828, mathematician Carl Freidrich Gauss went to a conference in Berlin, as a guest of Alexander von Humboldt, naturalist and explorer. It is from… 2006-11-07 Fiction Pantheon
Book Review

Measuring the World (2006)

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Nov 07, 2006; Writer: Daniel Kehlmann; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Pantheon

In 1828, mathematician Carl Freidrich Gauss went to a conference in Berlin, as a guest of Alexander von Humboldt, naturalist and explorer. It is from this meeting — the two shared only their status as Enlightenment icons and an obsessive need to find order in chaos — that Daniel Kehlmann spins his elegant comic novel Measuring the World. Eschewing the oppressive morality that defines modern German literature (see: Grass, Gunther and Böll, Heinrich), the 31-year-old author forges a sly prose style shaped by the fire of human nature and the anvil of logic: It's magic realism honed to a distinctly Teutonic level of precision.

Originally posted Nov 03, 2006 Published in issue #906 Nov 10, 2006 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners