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May 01, 2006

『博士の愛した数式』(小川洋子) 新潮文庫

 Suusiki
 面白い。こんなに面白いとは思わなかったので得した気分だ。
本屋大賞なるほど! 高校の課題図書なるほど!
 「得した」と思えるのは、数学の勉強になったから。
 素数って、こんなに不思議でキレイで整然とした規則が存在するなんて数学の授業で習わなかった。
 友愛数や完全数って言葉が出てくるだけでワクワクした。
 フェルマーやオイラーなんて言われても理解できていないけど、触れただけで新鮮だった。
 おまけに阪神タイガースに江夏豊。
 阪神ファンでなくても、江夏の伝説を知ってる自分には読み応え十分だった。

 また、文庫で読むと数学者藤原正彦氏の解説が掲載されている。
 これが実にいい。この解説で10倍わかりやすくなると言っても過言ではない。
 すばらしい解説に救われて、数学の世界にますます入り込んでいけたのである。
 ちなみに、藤原氏の解説の中で、感銘を受けたのが博士と家政婦さんの関係だ。
 恋愛関係と言うには教授は老いている。老人介護のような一面もある。

 そのような感情のことを「博士への慕情」と呼んでいる。

 そうか、数学への憧憬・尊敬の念・敬愛の念を含めて「慕情」か!
 「慕情」とは、ふだん使ったことのない言葉だけに、まさに「言い得て妙」だった。
  
 そんな中で、あえてクレームをつけてみる。
 1つ目は、

「80分しか記憶が持たない」という博士の人物設定

が理解できなかった点だ。
 80分と言うことは、家政婦さんがいる1日の間に何度も何度も記憶が途切れるということだ。
 野球観戦の途中や、数学の証明に取り組んでいる途中でも記憶が途切れるということだ。
 そんなに細かな時間の単位で記憶が途切れたら、小説でみられるほどスムーズには事が進まないのではないだろうか。
 せいぜい、一晩たったら記憶が途切れているという程度の設定でいいと思う。

 
 2つ目の疑問はカード入れの下に隠れていた「永遠に愛するNへ」と題した論文の意味。
 3つ目の疑問は、オイラーの公式の意味。

 オイラーの公式については、文庫のP197・198に次のようにある。
==========================
 予期せぬπがeの元に舞い下り、恥ずかしがり屋のiと握手する。
 彼らは身を寄せ合い、じっと身をひそめているのだが、一人の人間が1つだけ足算をした途端、何の前触れもなく世界が転換する。すべてが0に抱き留められる。
===========================
 
 これを、作中人物にあてはめてみる。

→予期せぬ家政婦が少年ルートの元に舞い下り、恥ずかしがり屋の博士と握手する。
 彼らは身を寄せ合い、じっと身をひそめているのだが、一人の未亡人が1つだけ足算をした途端、何の前触れもなく世界が転換する。すべてが0に抱き留められる。

 もし、その状況と公式の意味を理解して未亡人が引き下がったのだとしたら、それを読者に理解させるにはあまりにも説明が足りない。
 
 最後に、残念だったのは、僕の脳裏から寺尾聡の博士像が離れなかったことだ。
 寺尾聡では、ダンデイすぎる。
 小説の設定から想像すると、もう少ししょぼくれてみすぼらしいイメージなのだが・・・。

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