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Christening of the orno

I got home from the Committee on Education meeting in Washington in time for dinner with Amy (Sally was at Emily’s and Abby was at work). The orno had acquired the new flagstone patio that will make it less lonely, and since it was a crisp cold night we tried it out. We had no trouble getting a roaring blaze going from all the dry wood stacked along the east wall. The outer surface was still warm early the next morning.

On the flight home I read Orhan Pamuk’s Snow, instead of working on the Algebra book as I should have done. It’s a rich book that seems thoroughly misunderstood by some of the reviewers on the flyleaf, who call it a “thriller” and “political novel”. There’s lots of discussion of politics and religion in it, but it’s no more a political or religious novel than it’s a weather novel for all the discussion of snow. It’s about Pamuk’s theory of the self. It’s about memory, imagination and reason, the three axes of the snowflake on which Ka arranges all his poems, intersecting in the central poem “I, Ka”. And, duh, in case you didn’t get it, Ka is the ancient egyptian soul or self.

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About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.

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