By Janna Levin
Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems despatched shivers via Vienna’s highbrow circles and without delay challenged Ludwig Wittgenstein’s dominant philosophy. Alan Turing’s mathematical genius helped him holiday the Nazi Enigma Code in the course of WWII. although they by no means met, their lives unusually reflected one another—both have been tremendous, and either met with tragic ends. right here, a mysterious narrator intertwines those parallel lives right into a double helix of genius and pain, splendidly shooting not just radiant, fragile minds but in addition the zeitgeist of the period.
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Additional resources for A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines
I had known she would finally put me at risk. I tried to pay no attention when she stole things and presented them to me, because they were little things and of no use. A Mexican embroidered nightshirt, whereas I like to sleep in the altogether, or a silver money clip in the shape of an L for Lester, like I was some downtown lawyer, or an antique music box, for Christ’s sake, that plays “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean,” as if anyone would want to hear it more than once. Totally the wrong things for me, if it was me she was stealing for, whereas I was hard pressed to get a decent meal in this household.
I had seen enough. I woke up Karen and hustled her and the baby and all the Kmart paraphernalia into the Durango. Why, whatever is the matter, Lester? Karen said. She was still half asleep. Are we going somewhere? She looked frightened for a moment until I put Baby Wilson in her arms. I ran back to the house and grabbed some clothes and things for each of us. Then I ran back again and turned off the lights and locked the door. I could imagine them any minute coming up the road and through the woods around us at the same time.
She stood listening, Brenda, and shook her head. Lester, she said, your brains are in your balls. That is the way you are and the way you’ll always be. Goddamnit, Brenda, it’s not something I’ve done, you understand. Is this what I need to hear from you right now? She was squinting at me from the smoke drifting up into her eyes. I said, And you sometimes haven’t minded if that’s where my brain is, as I recall. Brenda is as unlike Karen as two women can be. Sturdier in mind, and shaped as if for the Bluebird clientele in her powder blue uniform with the Brenda stitched on the bosom pocket.