B Did Ramanujan's work look like crackpottery?

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RPinPA

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I happened to come across an old thread, "What counts as crackpottery?" and the above question came to my mind. The story is well known that he developed his results on his own without access to standard mathematical notation, and so when he began corresponding with mathematicians at universities they all (with the notable exception of G. H. Hardy) dismissed the work as nonsense.

Does anyone know what that correspondence looked like? Aside from using non-standard notation, did it have elements of crackpottery which contributed to it getting dismissed?

Sort of apropos to this question, I recently read of an experiment where someone submitted a novel, a recent (I think) prize winner to various publishers pseudonymously. It was rejected by all of them, including the publisher who had published the actual novel.
 
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It was rejected by all of them, including the publisher who had published the actual novel.
If they published it already then rejecting further submissions of the already published material is the right thing to do.
 

RPinPA

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If they published it already then rejecting further submissions of the already published material is the right thing to do.
I believe the point was that the editors did NOT recognize it and rejected it as not suitable for publication.

The place where I read that story had no details or citations, but I just tracked down the details. You could argue that it's because the editors are right, a style that sold in 1962 might not sell in 2017. But not that they cleverly detected that it was an existing novel.
 
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Yes, looks like a crackpot to me, but then I am not Hardy.
 
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There are lots of reasons publishers use to reject manuscripts. Its handwritten and hard to read. Its on hole punched notebook paper. There are food stains. The spelling is bad, the grammar is worse...


I'm pretty sure Ramanujan used poor quality paper, his results and derivations were handwritten and there were no proofs only expressions in his own notation that were extended from the ideas in the book he learned from.


Ramanujan had a creative brilliance that was obscured by his presentation and to many would be considered crackpottery especially those not versed in the notions of higher math. His insight into math was his greatest asset, an asset other mathematicians would strive for but never reach.


You can see his work online:


or his first two notebooks here:

 

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