On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction Iagnemma's characters are mostly scientists, authors of flawless proofs and theorems -- but hopelessly confounded by love. In the title story of his inventive collection,… 2003-04-29 Fiction
Book Review

ON THE NATURE OF HUMAN ROMANTIC INTERACTION (2003)

Details Release Date: Apr 29, 2003; Writer: Karl Iagnemma; Genre: Fiction

Iagnemma's characters are mostly scientists, authors of flawless proofs and theorems -- but hopelessly confounded by love. In the title story of his inventive collection, an academic draws a Venn diagram of his love for his commitment-phobic girlfriend. In ''The Phrenologist's Dream,'' the 19th-century title character is tripped up by his lust for a bald woman after failing to read deceit in the bumps on her head. In ''Kingdom, Order, Species,'' a young forester unsuccessfully tries to connect with lovers after sex by reading out loud from Woody Plants of North America. Fortunately, Iagnemma, a robotics researcher at MIT, is more adept at weaving marvelous, comic accounts of romance than his characters are at finding it.

Originally posted May 09, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints
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