Mandelbrot the Magnificent

May 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

Mandelbrot RD4 BLACKMandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska


What a moving story. It’s semi-biographical, drawing inspiration from the life of Benoit Mandelbrot, who grew up as a young Jewish boy in Nazi-occupied France. Ziemska uses as many real details of his life as possible, but also introduces a magical aspect to the story through Mandelbrot’s understanding of mathematics and the Sefirot, an important piece of the Jewish religion.

The story is by turns heartbreaking and inspiring, lyrical and haunting. It’s about mathematics, yes, but it’s also about loneliness, identity, and safety, which is important considering its setting. It also has some effective prose, like this:

“‘God?’ I asked.
“Father shrugged. ‘That’s a simple word used by those who would be terrified if they knew the whole story.'”

The story is a novella, meaning you can read it in one sitting, likely in just an hour or two. Do so. It’s well worth your time.

Started: March 22, 2018
Finished: March 22, 2018

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