Robert Quotes in Proof
ROBERT: You see? Even your depression is mathematical. Stop moping and get to work. The kind of potential you have—
CATHERINE: I haven’t done anything good.
ROBERT: You’re young. You’ve got time.
CATHERINE: I do?
CATHERINE: By the time you were my age you were famous.
CATHERINE: You died a week ago […] You’re sitting here. You’re giving me advice. You brought me champagne.
CATHERINE: Which means…
ROBERT: For you?
ROBERT: For you, Catherine, my daughter, who I love very much…It could be a bad sign.
HAL: […] When your dad was younger than both of us, he made major contributions to three fields: game theory, algebraic geometry, and nonlinear operator theory. Most of us never get our heads around one. He basically invented the mathematical techniques for studying rational behavior, and he gave the astrophysicists plenty to work over too. Okay?
CATHERINE: Don’t lecture me.
HAL: […] “Talking with students helps. So does being outside, eating meals in restaurants, riding buses, all the activities of ‘normal’ life. Most of all Cathy. The years she has lost caring for me […] her refusal to let me be institutionalized—her keeping me at home, caring for me herself, has certainly saved my life. Made writing this possible. Made it possible to imagine doing math again […] I can never repay her.”
CLAIRE: Living here with him didn’t do you any good. You said that yourself.
You had so much talent…
CATHERINE: You think I’m like Dad.
CLAIRE: I think you have some of his talent and some of his tendency toward…instability.
ROBERT: […] I’m not doing much right now. It does get harder. It’s a stereotype that happens to be true, unfortunately for me—unfortunately for you, for all of us.
CATHERINE: Maybe you’ll get lucky.
ROBERT: Maybe I will. Maybe you’ll pick up where I left off.
CATHERINE: Don’t hold your breath.
ROBERT: Don’t underestimate yourself.
CLAIRE: […] You wrote this incredible thing and you didn’t tell anyone?
CATHERINE: I’m telling you both now. After I dropped out of school I had nothing to do. I was depressed, really depressed, but at a certain point I decided, Fuck it, I don’t need them. It’s just math, I can do it on my own. So I kept working here. I worked at night, after Dad had gone to sleep. It was hard but I did it. […]
CLAIRE: Catherine, I’m sorry but I just find this very hard to believe.
HAL: I’m a mathematician […] I know how hard it would be to come up with something like this. I mean it’s impossible. You’d have to be…you’d have to be your dad, basically. Your dad at the peak of his powers.
CATHERINE: I’m a mathematician too.
HAL: Not like your dad.
CATHERINE: Oh, he’s the only one who could have done this?
HAL: The only one I know.
CATHERINE: “[…] In September the students come back and the bookstores are full. Let X equal the month of full bookstores. The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four. I will never be as cold now as I will in the future. The future of cold is infinite. The future of heat is the future of cold. The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September…” […] It’s all right. We’ll go inside.
ROBERT: I’m cold.
CATHERINE: We’ll warm you up.
ROBERT: Don’t leave. Please.
CATHERINE: I won’t. Let’s go inside.
HAL: […] Your dad dated everything. Even his most incoherent entries he dated. There are no dates in this.
CATHERINE: The handwriting—
HAL: —looks like your dad’s. Parents and children sometimes have similar handwriting, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time together.
HAL: There is nothing wrong with you.
CATHERINE: I think I’m like my dad.
HAL: I think you are too.
CATHERINE: I’m…afraid I’m like my dad.
HAL: You’re not him.
CATHERINE: Maybe I will be.
HAL: Maybe. Maybe you’ll be better.