This page is part of the website

Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)

I will tell you something that is based on the principles of geometry. Wanting to define an infinite number, I write a horizontal eight and divide it by one. If I want to express infinite smallness, I write a one and divide it by the horizontal eight. All these signs give me no idea about what I want to express—infinity…greatness. In the cosmos, infinite smallness in an infinite root of the smallest part of an atom. So I am defining infinity, but without comprehending. Well, if I do not comprehend but I can define it, I am getting near poetry, which seems to be nearer to life than we suspect.

Small re-reference at 1:05:00