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Hardy was, in his own words, "for a short time the fifth best pure mathematician in the world" and knew full well that "no mathematician should ever allow himself to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game." In a long biographical foreword to Apology, C.P. Snow (now best known for The Two Cultures) offers invaluable background and a context for his friend's occasionally brusque tone: "His life remained the life of a brilliant young man until he was old; so did his spirit: his games, his interests, kept the lightness of a young don's. And, like many men who keep a young man's interests into their sixties, his last years were the darker for it." Reading Snow's recollections of Hardy's Cambridge University years only makes Apology more poignant. Hardy was popular, a terrific conversationalist, and a notoriously good cricket player.
When summer came, it was taken for granted that we should meet at the cricket ground.... He used to walk round the cinderpath with a long, loping, clumping-footed stride (he was a slight spare man, physically active even in his late fifties, still playing real tennis), head down, hair, tie, sweaters, papers all flowing, a figure that caught everyone's eyes. "There goes a Greek poet, I'll be bound," once said some cheerful farmer as Hardy passed the score-board.
G.H. Hardy's elegant 1940 memoir has provided generations of mathematicians with pithy quotes and examples for their office walls, and plenty of inspiration to either be great or find something else to do. He is a worthy mentor, a man who understood deeply and profoundly the rewards and losses of true devotion. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I loved GH Hardy's this phenomenal essay.
Rather unfortunately, I think the text is a bit too short for Hardy to have effectively communicated the value and veracity of the distinctions he tries to draw.
I guess this book is worth reading while it will enable us to better understand the purest of the pure scientists (or artists), i.e. a mathematician's life.
This is more of a philosophical than mathematical book that I was expecting.Published 3 months ago by Peter Kmet
I think that the creative process that G. H. Hardy describes is illustrative and the introduction by Dr. C. P. Snow is terrific!Published 5 months ago by James R C Baker
I gave this biography/ autobiography three stars, rather than two or less, only because of the foreword from C.P. Snow. Read morePublished 15 months ago by George V.
I loved GH Hardy's this phenomenal essay. It really shows the aesthetics of mathematics. He passes his personal feelings about his declined creativity very nice. Read morePublished 18 months ago by AAA
I am not acquainted in reading mathematicians in non-mathamaticians treatises, this is the first so far. When I started reading this book I wondered what could it be about. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Juan Rogelio
G. H. Hardy was an influential figure in British mathematics in the early 20th Century. C. P. Snow who was his friend in his later years wrote the foreword to this book. Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by Hamid Nassiri