
A different image came to me a few weeks ago. The unknown thing to be known appeared to me as some stretch of earth or hard marl, resisting penetration... the sea advances insensibly in silence, nothing seems to happen, nothing moves, the water is so far off you hardly hear it... yet finally it surrounds the resistant substance.
Alexander Grothendieck 
I am not really doing research, just trying to cultivate myself.
Alexander Grothendieck

The question you raise, 'How can such a formulation lead to computations?' doesn't bother me in the least! Throughout my whole life as a mathematician, the possibility of making explicit, elegant computations has always come out by itself, as a byproduct of a thorough conceptual understanding of what was going on. Thus I never bothered about whether what would come out would be suitable for this or that, but just tried to understand  and it always turned out that understanding was all that mattered.
Alexander Grothendieck 
The introduction of the digit 0 or the group concept was general nonsense too, and mathematics was more or less stagnating for thousands of years because nobody was around to take such childish steps...
Alexander Grothendieck 
The introduction of the cipher 0 or the group concept was general nonsense too, and mathematics was more or less stagnating for thousands of years because nobody was around to take such childish steps.
Alexander Grothendieck 
It is less than four years since cohomological methods (i.e. methods of Homological Algebra) were introduced into Algebraic Geometry in Serre's fundamental paper
Alexander Grothendieck 
Among the thousandandone faces whereby form chooses to reveal itself to us, the one that fascinates me more than any other, and continues to fascinate me, is the structure hidden in mathematical things.
Alexander Grothendieck 
If there is one thing in mathematics that fascinates me more than anything else (and doubtless always has), it is neither "number" nor "size", but always form. And among the thousandandone faces whereby form chooses to reveal itself to us, the one that fascinates me more than any other and continues to fascinate me, is the structure hidden in mathematical things.
Alexander Grothendieck