Abstract

This article explores Ian McEwan’s negotiation of the “two-culture” debate between literature and science in The Child in Time (1987) and Enduring Love (1997). My claim is that these novels update this debate by introducing ideas put forward in the field of contemporary popular science, while also placing popular science in conversation with literary postmodernism. In particular, I consider the degree of cultural authority his novels grant to science within the contemporary, recognizing both the priority given to scientific values as a basis for social knowledge and also their constructedness and therefore susceptibility to political appropriation.

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