Category: tBC

  • Where is the Royal Poldavian Academy?

    Among the items found on Andre Weil at the time of his arrest was “a packet of calling cards belonging to Nicolas Bourbaki, member of the Royal Academy of Poldavia”. But then, where is the Royal Poldavian Academy situated? Well, surely in the Kingdom of Poldavia, which is a very strange country indeed, its currency […]

  • When was the Bourbaki wedding?

    It’s great fun trying to decode some of the puns contained in Betti Bourbaki’s wedding invitation. Below a photograph, taken on May 13th 1939, of three of the practical jokers (from left to right : Ralph Boas, Frank Smithies and Andre Weil), the others were Claude Chabauty, Weil’s wife Eveline and Louis Bouckaert (from Louvain).…

  • The wedding invitation that nearly killed Andre Weil

    Andre Weil wrote about his arrest as a Russian spy in november 1939 : “The manuscripts they found appeared suspicious – like those of Sophus Lie, arrested on charges of spying in Paris, in 1870. They also found several rolls of stenotypewritten paper at the bottom of a closet. When I said these were the…