A received idea about mathematics

Gustave Flaubert (1821 - 1880)

Gustave Flaubert (1821 – 1880)

“MATHEMATICS : Dry up the heart”

From “The Dictionary of Received Ideas” by Gustave Flaubert   (1881)

 Flaubert meant his “Dictionary of Received Ideas”, which was assembled from scrap after his death in 1880, to illustrate the all – pervading power of stupidity. It consists of clichés to be used in high society automatically, without any thinking, by ignorants who would like to be part of the bourgeois conformity. Other entries include “CLARINET: Playing it causes blindness since all blind men play the clarinet”, “ERECTION: Said only of monuments” and “OMEGA: Second letter of the Greek alphabet since everybody always says “the alpha and omega of…””



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