Braun, Rebecca () Daniel Kehlmann, Die Vermessung der Welt: measuring celebrity through the ages. In: Emerging German-language. The Novel in German since – edited by Stuart Taberner September Pressestimmen zu “Die Vermessung der Welt”. “Welch prunkvollen biografischen Anläufe für diesen Gipfel, welche Epen, die. Daniel Kehlmann, 30, in seinem.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann. Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann. Carol Brown Janeway Translator. The young Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann conjures a brilliant and gently comic novel from the lives of two geniuses of the Enlightenment. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, two young Germans set out to measure the world.

One of them, the Prussian aristocrat Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates savanna and jungle, travels down the Orinoco, tastes poisons, climbs the hi The young Austrian writer Daniel Kehlmann conjures a brilliant and gently comic novel from the lives of two geniuses of the Enlightenment. One of them, the Prussian aristocrat Alexander von Humboldt, negotiates savanna and jungle, travels down the Orinoco, tastes poisons, climbs the highest mountain known to man, counts head lice, and explores every hole in the ground.

He can run prime numbers in his head. He cannot imagine a life without women, yet he jumps out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a mathematical formula.

Von Humboldt is known to history as the Second Columbus. Gauss is recognized as the greatest mathematical brain since Newton. Terrifyingly famous and more than eccentric in their old age, the two meet in Berlin in Already a huge best seller in Germany, Measuring the World marks the debut of a glorious new talent on the international scene. Hardcoverpages.

Ewlt November 7th wlet Pantheon first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Measuring the Worldplease sign up. Lists with This Book.

Daniel Kehlmann. Die Vermessung der Welt.

One subplot fictionalises the conflict between Gauss and his son Eugene; while Eugene wanted to become a linguist, his father decreed that he study law. Jun 25, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: Hungry little caterpillars, they eat their way through a mixed diet of knowledge and skills over the course of their education before entering the strange teenage cocoon stage when they can’t be bothered with anything but their ewlt physical and social development.

As a teacher, you look at all these potential explorers, and their diverse approaches “I want to explore the world! As a teacher, you look at all these potential explorers, and their diverse approaches to life, and to learning and interpretation of reality, and you think: You can sit in your room and explore the abstract world of mathematics in your own isolated brain, like Gauss, or you can climb mountains, swim through rivers, march danisl swamps, and collect physical evidence of your journey, like Alexander von Humboldt.

Either way, you will be exploring the world, according to your needs, your history, your education and your personality. Genius has many shapes, and expresses itself in various ways, is the optimistic message a life-saving one for teachers who work with the post-caterpillar, pre-butterfly cocoon-stage. Geniuses are humans with specific talents and difficulties, and their own issues, is the realistic conclusion, and all it takes to cross the line between ordinary talent and genius may be a stubborn curious desire to move on towards an ever changing horizon.


Geniuses achieve great things with ordinary bodies and minds, and extraordinary belief in the possibilities of the world. Geniuses can be grumpy and worried and arrogant and absent-minded and just plain funny, they come in all colours and shapes. What do they have in common? They use their wings!

View all 14 comments. View dei 5 comments. It gave you an indecent advantage over the past and made you a clown vis-a-vis the future.

I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. It certainly was not what I expected.

Daniel Kehlmann. Die Vermessung der Welt. – Free Online Library

I weelt admire Kehlmann for trying a different angle on a historical keblmann about two eminent characters i “It was both odd and injust, said Gauss, a real example of the pitiful arbitrariness of existence, that you were dif into a ddaniel time and held prisoner there whether you wanted it or not.

I do admire Kehlmann for trying a different angle on a historical novel about two eminent characters in their own time. The novel style and focus on what basically is a sequence of vignettes work well to bring out the character in Kehlmann’s two subjects – Humboldt and Gauss. However, this is at the expense of any historical facts other than that the two people existed: There is one or maybe two references to dates in this book, and I felt this was only to give the reader a timeframe to anchor the story in.

Other than this, there are very few facts kehlmajn this story that could be referenced back to anything. Yet, this is not due to a lack of research on the part of the author. To kehlmabn a picture of both characters in as much detail as he does would have required a lot of research. The book just does not bring this across which makes this more a novel that featured two characters with the names of actual people and some enterprises these people may have set out to, but little else makes this book feel like a historical novel.

And this is where my problem is again: If I want to read about actual people, I want facts, I want references, I want to be able to go away and read more about something they did.

I do not want speculation about what they have thought or felt, or whether their brother tried to kill them when they vernessung little.

Unless I can go away and find other supporting material about any of this, I am simply not interested. The upside to the book was that there was no love triangle, which so often spoils historical fiction books.

View all 6 comments. Da un lato von Humboldt, geografo, naturalista ed esploratore, ricco aristocratico, eccentrico, curioso ed espansivo. Un libro quindi non pessimo, ma trascurabile.

View all 16 comments. Aug 03, K. Absolutely rated it liked it Recommended to K. A scientific historical novel first published in originally written in German by young author, Daniel Kehlmann born It is said to be the worldwide bestselling German novel since Patrick Suskind’s Perfume in This is a story of a two scientists during the time of Napoleon reign in Europe.


The first scientist is Alexander von Humboldt who is a botanist, geologist and an explorer. He has an elder brother Wilhelm von Humboldt who lives a “normal” life, i.

That mountain ranges are created by the chemical precipitations left as the primordial ocean shrinks. That the fire in volcanoes doesn’t come from deep in the earth but is fed by burning coalfields. This theory was championed by both churches and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Remember that this was during the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who was a German writer and polymath, By the way, as this is a historical scientific novel, both the Humboldt brothers were also real German famous personalities The second scientist is Carl Friedrich Gauss who is a mathematician and scientist.

He is also the author of the book Disquisitiones which deals with the number consolidating theory that shaped several mathematical theories known today. He is a boy genius in mathematics. I particularly enjoyed the classroom scene when his “terror” butt-spanking teacher asks him to add all the numbers from 1 to thinking that the young Gauss will manually write and add all the numbers from 1 to What he does, to the astonishment of the said teacher, is that he starts with a hundred and one.

A hundred plus one equals a hundred and one. Ninety-nine plus two equals a hundred and one. Always a hundred and one. Ninety-eight plus three equals a hundred and one.

You could do that fifty times. So, fifty times a hundred and one. Unlike Humboldt, Gauss has a family, he got married twice and has 6 children.

One of his children, his son Eugen, danieel one of the main characters in the novel. He feels unloved because Gauss is disappointed that they do not share the same interest. Gauss is a genius while his son Eugen has an average intellect.

The novel is divided into several chapters with the life and times of Gauss and Humboldt alternating until the fifth to the last chapter when they meet.

The novel shows what scientist in the 18th century go through almost spending their whole life and even their family and social life to pursue their careers and academic passions. The book is full of anecdotes and scientific theories and explanations selt Kehlmann was able to tell in a light and even funny way. Something that only gifted storytellers can successfully pull off. My favorite quote comes at the last part of the story when Humboldt was in his “sunset” year as a scientist and his sister-in-law, the wife of his elder brother died.

This is part of his speech prior to visiting the deathbed: What, ladies and gentlemen, is death? Fundamentally it is not extinction and those seconds when life ends, but the slow decline that precedes it, that creeping debility that extends over years: So circumspectly, ladies and gentlemen, has nature organized our death! This is after the funeral and the elder Humboldt is thanking him for his vermwssung and support during the death of his wife. Part of the letter is this: Whether we see each other again or not, now once more, it is just we two, as it always was fundamentally.