Something I Did Read: Literature’s Greatest Opening Lines, As Written By Mathematicians

I imagine anyone likely to read my little notes here is already familiar with Ben Orlin’s great blog, but there’s always someone who missed the cool stuff earlier. And it’s going around Mathematics Twitter again so people are still learning. So here. Math With Bad Drawings — exactly what it says on the tin — had this amusing bit, Literature’s Greatest Opening Lines, as Written By Mathematicians.

My lone regret is the best one, Anna Karenina, is really only funny if you got into advanced mathematics classes. There’s several follow-ups in the comments. I’m tempted to try writing a couple myself. Do enjoy.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

3 thoughts on “Something I Did Read: Literature’s Greatest Opening Lines, As Written By Mathematicians”

  1. How would a mathematician write the opening few lines to the song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? it was 20 years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to play they’ve been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile so may I introduce to you the one and only Billy Shears…etc,etc.


    1. This is a good question and I’m giving some thought how to mathematics it up a little.

      I mean, ‘the one and only Billy Shears’ is obviously going to be ‘the exactly one Billy Shears’, which almost keeps the meter and does keep the flow of vowels, which is fantastic.


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