In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

132Philosophy and Literature man's meditations on the sacred and to relate Taylor's notions of radical christology to Susan Handelman's demonstration of the parallels of deconstruction and Hebraism. Whether or not it will differ substantially from Taylor's excellent analysis, we need a deconstruction of the self written for a wider audience . The quest(ion) always concerns style, and as attractive as Taylor's will be to many, it will likely not attract die book-ish. University of KansasG. Douglas Atkins Science andLiterature, edited by Harry R. Garvin; 173 pp. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press for the Bucknell Review, 1983, $15.00. Interdisciplinary in its tide, the present volume is compounded from a series of essays on science and literature, and is neady divided into two groups, one of a theoretical and the other of a practical nature. John Neubauer opens the work with a theoretical investigation of current models of science and literature. A second theoretical essay, by James Curtis, follows in which the author argues that literary paradigms are more (and scientific paradigms less) determinate than we have usually considered them. The first of the practical group essays is Roger Lund's quite interesting historical essay which deals with the effects of science on language, and which in its implicit and explicit judgments unfortunately leaves too much unstated and undefended. Bruce Herzberg deals with Thomas Pynchon on the move to "laws," and with Pynchon's perception of salvation from the depressing results of this move as coming about dirough human interpretations. Charles Krance writes about Beckett's use of astronomy, and Martin Karlow utilizes Laingian psychology to analyze Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables. I found Lisa Steinman's investigation of William Carlos Williams's effort to answer the question of the relation of technology to poetic style well handled and interesting. Kenneth Newell, for his part, sees a future for the computer in poetry, albeit a constrained one. Overall, I found the unity of the volume to be elusive. In the Neubauer contribution, the reader is presented with a summary ofcurrent theories about bodi science and scientific theories. I confess to having some differences with him on specific aspects of his interpretations, but these seem of very litde consequence to the focal issues of the essay. Throughout, much hinges on the concept of progress and while die author and I probably disagree with respect to whether Kuhn has such a notion as progress for science (as Kuhn views it), we do not disagree that he has such a notion and that it is vague. Subsequently , after having looked at the appropriate aspects of the views of Lakatos and Laudan as well as some theories about literature, Neubauer arrives at what I view as the most interesting conclusion in die volume: that in theories about Reviews133 science and literature "There exists ... a surprising unanimity about the nature of time and historical change." He believes there is much potential in this perception for "future comparatist studies in literature and science" (p. 36). In short, certain current theories about science and its progress have dimensions which correlate with, or are parallel with, views about literature and its growth and development. And I suspect diat not only is this well worth exploring further , but diat these joint explorations may tell us more about the way we think and develop than either can alone. As a work which is avowedly supposed to look at science and literature in an interdisciplinary way, I do not believe that the volume succeeds very well. Having said that, however, let me alter the evaluation somewhat. For an academic whose predilections lean toward the scientific in its philosophical and historical dimensions, this is not a satisfying book. As a work on science as its concepts are utilized by creators ofliterature, however, the work has more value. I am not clear on where the science, per se, is; and if the work is to be considered an exercise in interdisciplinary scholarship and discourse, then I would, regretfully , advise the reader to "pass it up." The volume is an example of a phenomenon unfortunately all too common: the interdisciplinary study which is disciplinary but not...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 132-133
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.