Mathematicians as storytellers

Mathematicians are storytellers. At times it is obvious, as in the case of Charles Dodgson, the 19th century Christ Church maths fellow who is better known for his literary works — you know him by his alias, Lewis Carroll. But storytelling is a natural device for the everyday mathematician.

My friend Ed once told me that he had spent the afternoon reconstructing every proof from an undergraduate course in Real Analysis, without any aids. Given that he had taken that course seven years prior, and had not been formally practising mathematics for five of those…

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