Daniel Kehlmann: Die Vermessung der Welt [Measuring the World]

(1030 words)
  • Patricia Simpson

Daniel Kehlmann's fifth novel, Die Vermessung der Welt [Measuring the World, 2005] brought the author international fame. The fictional portrayal of Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss represents the pinnacle – to date – of Kehlmann's novels. His previous works reveal a preoccupation with great men occupied with capital-letter issues – or perhaps madmen obsessed with the quest for knowledge that may change everything or nothing. Questions of fame, emotional intelligence, and ambition weave in and out of the dominant narratives, as do issues of pedagogy and apprenticeship, male friendship and rivalry, and the ideal in constant negotiation with the real. In Die …

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Simpson, Patricia. "Die Vermessung der Welt". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 August 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21666, accessed 23 May 2015.]