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March 18, 2014

Translating Grothendieck’s Biography into English

Posted by John Baez

Leila Schneps is trying to raise $6,000 for what sounds like a good cause: translating a biography of Grothendieck into English:

As of this moment she’s raised $350… including $100 of her own money.

Leila Schneps writes:

Two volumes of a projected 3-volume biography of A. Grothendieck have been completed by Winfried SCHARLAU, and are available in German on through “Books on Demand” as

“Wer ist Alexander Grothendieck? Teil 1: Anarchy”


“Wer ist Alexander Grothendieck? Teil 3: Spiritualität”.

Grothendieck is aware of Scharlau’s work and even met him during the preparation of the part concerning the lives of his parents, although he subsequently ruptured relations with Scharlau as he has with everyone else.

In 2013, an English translation of volume 1 by my sister, Melissa Schneps became available on Amazon as

“Who is Alexander Grothendieck? Part 1, Anarchy”

Melissa’s translation of volume 1 was funded by Jim Carlson of the Clay Institute for Mathematics.

The new director of the Clay Institute has not accepted to fund translation of volume 3. The book covers Grothendieck’s life from his rupture with the mathematical establishment in 1970 to his disappearance in 1991 and contains a wealth of information from documents and interviews.

Due to multiple expressions of interest in an English translation, we have decided to use this method to raise funding for the translation of volume 3. Once the project is underway, we propose to create a web page where chapters of the volume can be made accessible to donors as they appear. Once completed, the new volume will be available on Amazon through “Books on Demand” like the others.

If you are interested in Alexander Grothendieck and his astonishing life, please help to make this happen.

In response Kevin Lin asked the obvious question: “What about volume 2?” I don’t know the answer! Do you?

Posted at March 18, 2014 4:02 PM UTC

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Re: Translating Grothendieck’s Biography into English

I think that volume 2 is currently being written by Leila herself.

Posted by: Marcin Kotowski on March 18, 2014 4:43 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Translating Grothendieck’s Biography into English

It’s strange that the original is in German rather than French. Is there a French translation yet?

Posted by: Tim Campion on March 19, 2014 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Translating Grothendieck’s Biography into English

It’s strange that the original is in German rather than French.

Not given that the author is German.

Posted by: Mark Meckes on March 19, 2014 4:22 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Translating Grothendieck’s Biography into English

It is a pleasure that we can observe the emergence of a biographical landscape around the figure and presence of Grothendieck .Considering last and past decades , a plenty of faithful perspectives regarding the emergence of Grothendieck topologies would rise.This new and broad approaching to historical and personal standpoints , is a renewal of our-own memories and present point-of-views in this context ( the Noetherian topos ) .At last , but not at least , it would be valuable for us , considering manners or ways to update H-topologies upshots , such we are managing , at present , ontological samples in this sense. Appreciating very much your interest , neuroparmenides

Posted by: Sabino Guillermo Echebarria on April 4, 2014 11:48 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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