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July 7, 2016

Between the lives of Austrians gone to Germany and those of Germans come to Austria, I have at times noticed significant overlap as though, despite a difference in time and place, their movements interlocked into a single, precision sphere. Such thoughts came to mind upon reading one passage from Thomas Bernhard’s memoirs in which the author, ever the misanthrope, reveals that, of all the instructors from his time at the strictly Catholic grammar school in Salzburg, only the mathematics teacher professed a faith other than the Roman. Though unidentified, the description called before me none other than Johannes Kepler, Lutheran mathematics professor more than three hundred years earlier in a city no closer than Graz. Either Kepler had lived on or mathematics itself took root in the uncatholic.

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