What Math and Language Have in Common
“Math is a very creative subject.”
British writer Natasha Brown highlights the similarities between maths and writing. Read more …
A background in Maths at Cambridge University isn’t something you usually come across in the world of fiction writers. But this is the case for Natasha Brown: “I think one of the shames about how we learn maths in school is that we don’t get an appreciation of aesthetics in maths,” she says and goes on to say that maths “have really delightful terms of logic. In a similar way that we learn in school to appreciate a sentence.” The simplicity of maths has influenced Brown: “That has certainly come over to my taste in reading as well. I like minimalist writers.”
“Having an appreciation of another field helps me to be open-minded.” Natasha Brown points out that creativity is important in maths because you must use the same rules in new ways. The same goes for writing a novel: “You learn the rules of fiction. You learn what works, what doesn’t work, and you study ways that people have applied them,” she says and continues: “The job as a writer is to apply those rules in new and surprising ways. And also find out when you can break them.”
Natasha Brown is a British novelist. She grew up in London and studied Math at Cambridge University, where she spent a decade working in financial services. In 2019, she was a London Writers Award recipient, 2022, a Burgess Fellow at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, as well as a Women’s Prize x Good Housekeeping Futures Award finalist. Her debut novel ‘Assembly’ was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, and The Books are my bag Fiction Award.
Natasha Brown was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at her Danish publisher Gyldendal in April 2022.
Camera: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Edited by: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2022
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen.
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