POETRY

poems of the month

fish

vagabondage

measuring my face

ostracism

old clothes

modern iranian poems

my hero

face at the bottom of the world

perhaps (maybe)

the diogenes sequence

where to store furs

i am and am not:
      fragments of rumi

destiny and destination

the zen of no-enlightenment

the iraqi monologues

already backwards

a light in ruins

separate amputations

the sexy jihad

awaiting the barbarians

the smell of possibilities

ultimate leaves

rejoice in the dog

post-millennium maggot

the book of nothing

confession from belgrade

dispatches from the war against the world

albanian poems

french poems in honour of jean genet

the hells going on

the joy of suicide

book disease

foreground trouble

the transcendental hotel

cinema of the blind

lament of the earth mother

uranian poems

haikai by okami

haikai on the edge

black hole of your heart

jung's motel

leda and the swan

gloss on rilke's ninth duino elegy

jewels and shit:
poems by rimbaud

villon's dialogue with his heart

vasko popa: a shepherd of wolves ?

the rubáiyát of
omar khayyám

genrikh sapgir:
an ironic mystic

the love of pierre de ronsard

imagepoem

 

TRANSLATIONS

 

BETWEEN POETRY AND PROSE

the maxims of michel de montaigne

400
revolutionary maxims

nice men and
suicide of an alien

anti-fairy tales

the most terrible event in history

the rich man and the leper

disgusting

art, truth and bafflement

 

SHORT STORIES

godpieces

the three bears

three albanian tales

odorous underwear

a little creation story

 

ESSAYS & MEMOIRS

helen's tower

schopenhauer for muthafuckas

are doctors autistic ?

single track in the snow

never a pygmy

against money

did franco die ?

'original sin' followed by
crippled consciousness

a gay man's guide to soft-willy sex

the holosensual alternative

tiger wine

the death of poetry

the absinthe drinker

with mrs dalloway in ukraine

love  and  hell

running on emptiness

a holocaust near you

happiness

londons of the mind &
dealing death to the caspian

genocide

a muezzin from the tower of darkness

kegan and kagan

a holy dog and a
dog-headed saint

an albanian ikon

being or television

satan in the groin

womb of half-fogged mirrors

tourism and terrorism

diogenes
the dog from sinope

shoplifting

this sorry scheme of things

the bektashi dervishes

combatting normality

fools for nothingness:
atheists & saints

death of a bestseller

vacuum of desire: a homo-erotic correspondence

a note on beards

translation and the oulipo

the visit

towards the zen of sex

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

prelude

metamorphotos NEW LINK

 

MUSIC

tombeau de kurt schwitters

three movements of melting ice

 

MY PAINTINGS


 

Nuadú, God of War

field guide to megalithic ireland

megalith of the month

houses for the dead

ireland and the phallic continuum

irish cross-pillars

irish sweathouses

the sheela-na-gig conundrum

french megaliths

the church of lazarus and the dogs

hell

 

 

'western values'

a small town in france

 

 

 

 

THEMEATRIX

 

 

 

 

this site only


 

 

 

 

 

anticopyright 2012
Anthony Weir

 

 

GRISHA PERELMAN
IS MY HERO
though I'm sure the very idea would distress or annoy him.


 


THE SHAPE OF THE UNIVERSE
- A MORE-OR-LESS FOUND POEM


A Russian (said by people who say such silly things
to be The World's Cleverest Man)
has turned down a million-dollar prize
for solving one of mathematics' toughest puzzles.

Dr Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman, 44,
who lives as a recluse with his mother
in a small tower-block flat in southern St Petersburg,


said through the closed door:
"I have all I want."
She said: "We don't want to talk to anyone."

They both share her $75-a-month pension
because he has been unemployed
since he gave up mathematics in 2006.

Neighbours say his trousers are always too short for his legs.

The Millennium Prize was given in 2006
by the Clay Mathematics Institute
for his solution of the Poincaré Conjecture, posed in 1904.
It took four years for teams of academics
around the world to check Dr Perelman's solution

which he posted in 2002 as a terse paper to an online archive,
while he was working on a broader problem
.
He failed to turn up to receive his prestigious Fields Medal
(equivalent to a Nobel Prize)
from the International Mathematical Union
in Madrid four years ago.

At the time he stated:
"I'm not interested in money or fame.
I don't want to be on display like an animal in a zoo.

"I'm not a hero of mathematics.
I'm not even that successful.
That's why I don't want to have everybody looking at me.

"If the proof is correct then no further recognition is needed.

"I do not think anything that I say can be
of the slightest public interest."


Neighbour Vera Petrovna said:
"I was once in his flat and I was astounded.
He only has a table, a stool and a bed with a dirty mattress
which was left by previous owners:
alcoholics who sold the flat to him.

"We are trying to get rid of cockroaches in our block,
but they hide in his flat."

Dr Perelman once said to an American journalist:
"...there are many mathematicians who are more or less honest.
But almost all of them are conformists."



"He is someone who sees the world a little bit in black and white,"

said Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford University's Professor
for the Public Understanding of Science - who obviously
has little understanding of morality, let alone meta-morality.

Dr Perelman is also a talented violinist.
His sister lives in Stockholm.
She, too, is an eminent mathematician.

In March 2010, it was announced that he was the first person
to meet the criteria for
the Clay Mathematical Institute's Millennium Prize,
also worth one million dollars
(and offered by a Boston philanthropist)
- but that he had declined it, too.

The Poincaré Conjecture was more than 100 years old
when Dr Perelman solved it

- and his proof could help determine the shape of the universe.

 

 

read more >

 

 

Would Dr Perelman have been understood and appreciated by the American writer and columnist
S.J. Perelman ?


Grigoriy Yakovlevich Perelman

 

"..Why can't they stop clucking, and just push the money
through his letter-box (if he has one) ?
But then there'd be the immediate problem
of gangster or government attack..."

 


(the following is adapted from a piece in The Daily Telegraph, London)


Dr Perelman's extraordinary life has been one of adversity and extremes. He has suffered anti-Semitism as well as miscomprehension and betrayal from less talented colleagues.

Disillusioned with the world around him, he effectively withdrew from society about five years ago, taking a monk-like vow of silence. Eventually, he stopped answering e-mails. It was not always thus.

Grisha, as he is known to his friends, was born in 1966 in what was then known as Leningrad at a time when the Soviet Union was at the peak of its powers. His mother, Ludmila, was a talented mathematician in her own right, and his father Yakov, who now lives in Israel, was a prominent engineer. Both suffered racial discrimination.

The young Grisha's talents were noticed before he had reached the age of 11. He was enrolled at an élite school specialising in maths, was pushed hard to excel, and as a school child in the 1980s won two nationwide maths competitions.

"In 1981, he became the best of his age-group in the Soviet Union," recalled Sergey Rukshin, the director of the élite maths school where he studied. Rukshin remembers how at the age of 14 Perelman devoted himself wholly to maths - even putting aside his beloved violin.

"It was very important for him to be Number One," he said.

Soviet distrust of Jews was strong at the time and the boy prodigy had to swim against a powerful tide of anti-Semitism. "It was a horrible time for Jewish people," said Mr Rukshin.

"Grigori is pure Jewish and I never minded that - but my bosses did. When they found out I had invited him to study at our maths centre they reprimanded me for incorrect ethnic politics."

Top academics would express indignation when seeing his overtly Jewish surname in competition lists. Somehow, Grisha managed to shake off the perceived stigma and went on to get a PhD at Leningrad university before securing a good position at a top academic institute. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he achieved what many penniless Russian academics dreamed of and moved to the United States to conduct research at top universities.

Colleagues in the U.S. remember his fingernails being unusually long, his eccentricity, and the modesty of his lifestyle. Even though he was well paid, they say his fridge contained little more than milk and bread. [Actually black bread and kefir, or fermented milk, a fairly healthy diet.]

In 1995, he shocked his peers by returning to the poorly-funded research institute in his native St Petersburg where he had earlier worked, turning down lucrative offers in the US in favour of a tiny salary worth the equivalent of £120 a month.

He had been uninterested in churning out routine yet pedestrian academic papers and determined to focus on solving a complex maths puzzle known as the Poincaré conjecture, that had baffled mathematicians for more than a century. But it seems his new colleagues lost patience with him.

"He did not want any distractions but the scientists at the institute are forced to publish academic papers every two or three years," recalled Tamara Yefimova, one of his former maths teachers.

"Grigori did not want to waste his time on this and colleagues voted him out. They voted out the most brilliant mathematician in the world."

Distraught, Mr Perelman left under a cloud in December 2005 and appears never to have worked since. The director of the institute, Dr Ildar Ibragimov, denies Dr Perelman was forced out. Though he admits colleagues found him difficult, he claims Dr Perelman left of his own accord.

"Some of his colleagues thought he was odd [but] I don't think it was jealousy for his achievements. Grigori demanded a lot of himself but also from people around him. This made him a difficult person to deal with."

By the time he began to be feted and lavished with prizes and invitations to speak at top academic conferences, he had turned in on himself. People who know him say he and his mother live off her modest pension and money sent monthly by his sister, who lives in Sweden. His old mentor, Mr Rukshin, says people should respect his choice.

"Believe you me, a beard does not make a man mad or abnormal," he said. "The prize was never his purpose. He was interested in work, not in money."

Neighbours say his trousers are always too short for his legs, and that the balcony to his flat has been left to rot. Every day they see him walk to a grocery shop at 1.30 pm where he buys the same things: eggs, cheese, spaghetti, sour cream, black bread and a kilo of oranges.

It is not clear whether he still practises mathematics. He is thought to pass the time by playing ping-pong against the wall of his flat.

 

St Vassily of Moscow

Saint Vassily (Basil) of Moscow,
a sixteenth-century "Fool for Christ"
who, like many others, renounced all clothing even in winter.

 

 
 

top of page