Towards the end of the 18th century, two brilliant young Germans set out to measure the world. The naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, a Prussian aristocrat, negotiates savannah and jungle, counts lice on the heads of the natives and explores every hole in the ground. The mathematician Carol Friedrich Gauss, does not even need to leave his home in Gottingen to know that space is curved. He can run prime numbers in his head, cannot imagine a life without women and yet jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula. A novel of rare charm and readability, Measuring The World brings the two eccentric geniuses to life, their longings and their weaknesses, their balancing act between loneliness and love, absurdity and greatness, failure and success.
About the Author
Daniel Kehlmann was born in 1975 in Munich, the son of a director and an actress. He attended a Jesuit college in Vienna, traveled widely, and has won several awards for previous novels and short stories, most recently the 2005 Candide Award. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages, and "Measuring the World" became an instant best seller in several European countries. Kehlmann is spending the fall of 2006 as writer-in-residence at New York University's Deutsches Haus. He lives in Vienna.
Janeway is a translator.