Miskatonic University Press


mathematics quotes theatre

From Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, first performed in 1958:

Goldberg: Is the number 846 possible or necessary?

Stanley: Neither.

Goldberg: Wrong! Is the number 846 possible or necessary?

Stanley: Both.

Goldberg: Wrong! It’s necessary but not possible.

Stanley: Both.

Goldberg: Wrong! Why do you think the number 846 is necessarily possible?

Stanley: Must be.

Goldberg: Wrong! It’s only necessarily necessary! We admit possibility only after we grant necessity. It is possible because necessary but by no means necessary through possibility. The possibility can only be assumed after the proof of necessity.

McCann: Right!

An ominous, ominous play. If you read this in the next two weeks, listen to the BBC Radio 3 dramatization while you can.

Petey (broken): Stan, don’t let them tell you what to do!