Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for November 22nd, 2015

Carrying your ideas with you

with 2 comments

Michael Atiyah

I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, I suppose. I don’t specialise in any one. I pick up a bit here, a bit there, and if I find a connection between them, I get excited…

I’m not the sort of person who does my mathematics writing on paper. I do that at the last stage of the game. I do my mathematics in my head. I sit down for a hard day’s work and I write nothing all day. I just think. And I walk up and down because that helps keep me awake, it keeps the blood circulating, and I think and think.

The main thrust of your thinking can only take place in big chunks of time, not only for hours but for days, weeks, you carry these ideas with you. You go out for a walk and you take your ideas with you. You go on a bus, you take a train, even when you go to sleep you wake up in the morning and you’ve got this enormously complicated set of ideas with you for long periods, maybe even for a year or two.

Michael Atiyah, to The Guardian

Written by nevalalee

November 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

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