André Weil writes from Rouen prison
My mathematics work is proceeding beyond my wildest hopes, and I am even a bit worried - if it's only in prison that I work so well, will I have to arrange to spend two or three months locked up every year? In the meantime, I am contemplating writing a report to the proper authorities, as follows: "To the Director of Scientific Research: Having recently been in a position to discover through personal experience the considerable advantages afforded to pure and disinterested research by a stay in the establishments of the Penitentiary System, I take the liberty of, etc. etc."
As for my work, it is going so well that today I am sending Papa Cartan a note for the Comptes-Rendus. I have never written, perhaps never even seen, a note in the Comptes-Rendus in which so many results are compressed into such a small space. I am very pleased with it, and especially because of where it was written (it must be a first in the history of mathematics) and because it is a fine way of letting all my mathematical friends around the world know that I exist. And I am thrilled by the beauty of my theorems.
JOC/EFR December 2008
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