There are lots of reasons why non-scientists should be forced to study mathematics, but it’s hard to see why mathematicians should bother with literature. Literature is part of the entertainment industry: emotional manipulation, crippled by cheap assertions and hollow arguments. Maths is intellectual. Maths has rigorous standards. Literature hides guff under its pretty phrases.
Sarah Hart, a professor of mathematics, wants us to see literature and mathematics as the ancients did – mutually supportive, central elements of a rounded education.