BOURBAKI: A SECRET SOCIETY OF MATHEMATICIANS
The cafe A. Capoulade, where our
secret society of mathematicians
gathered in 1934.
schedule of publication, and the organization of the work followe
Cartan proposed that the work would be at most 1000 or 1200 page
Delsarte proposed that the first volumes would be published in
most six months; Weil proposed that, after a few preliminary mee
ings, the group would create subcommittees in charge of designin
each section of the book, and that the group would decide on a pr
cise and final plan during a plenary meeting during the followi
summer vacation. They also started to discuss the nature and co
tent of the future book, although of course one meeting was n
enough to answer all their questions.
The Committee for Writing a Treatise on Analysis, as the grou
called itself at the time, met ten times between December 1934 an
May 1935—about once every two weeks and, like the first meetin
on Mondays at the cafe A. Capoulade. During the second meeting, t
group decided that the Committee would include at most nine mem
bers. Although this rule was only enforced briefly following the bir
of Bourbaki, the number of members never increased to more tha
about a dozen. In January 1935, even before the founding plena
conference that would take place that summer, Paul Dubreil, Jea
Leray, and Szolem Mandelbrojt joined the group; however, Dubre
and Leray quit before the summer. Jean Coulomb replaced Dubreil
April, and Charles Ehresmann replaced Leray in the summer. Arriva
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