Do Numbers Have Souls?
February 15, 2012 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Do Numbers Have Souls?

I'm trying to recall the title of a movie in which the question above was asked by one of the characters. The thing came out in the early to mid 90's, and was surreal, making me think (these distant days) of Alice in Wonderland. The person who asked the question was mischievous or capriciously evil, and was asking it of a similarly tricky character. They were engaged in pseudo philosophical dialog in which the question was asked as part of a list of similar questions. I think these two were plotting against a protagonist of some kind, but - that's all I got. Thanks for reading.
posted by not_that_epiphanius to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Music of Chance (1990) by Paul Auster has the following quote:

"I've dealt with numbers all my life, of course, and after a while you begin to feel that each number has a personality of its own. A twelve is very different from a thirteen, for instance. Twelve is upright, conscientious, intelligent, whereas thirteen is a loner, a shady character who won't think twice about breaking the law to get what he wants. Eleven is tough, an outdoorsman who likes tramping through the woods and scaling mountains; ten is rather simpleminded, a blank figure who always does what he's told; nine is deep and mystical, a Buddha of contemplation... Numbers have souls, and you can't help but get involved with them in a personal way." Paul Auster, The Music of Chance (1990)

It was made into a film in 1993.
posted by jabes at 2:24 PM on February 15, 2012 [4 favorites]

Was it Pi?
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2012

Best answer: Yep, I'm thinking it's The Music of Chance.
posted by penduluum at 2:29 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: Yes! Thank you so much.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 2:56 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: Well, I'm pretty sure. I love Charles Durning, and though I would have remembered him. But this fits so well. It's certainly now at the top of my "To See" list. Memory is such a funny thing...
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:02 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: I liked Pi too, but nope.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:07 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: Definitely - yup. Thanks again. The Alice in Wonderland stuff seems to have been coming from the projector, not the screen.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: i just noticed I'm wearing my Pi t-shirt. Maybe they do have souls...
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:13 PM on February 15, 2012

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