A mathematician is at once an adult as well as a child

All mathematicians live in two different worlds. They live in a crystalline world of perfect platonic forms. An ice palace. But, they also live in the common world where things are ambiguous, transient, subject to vicissitudes. Mathematicians go backwards and forwards from one world to another. They are adults in the crystalline world, infants in the real one. — S. Cappell, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 1996.

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