Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-6

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

So many people — family, friends, colleagues, students, audiences, presenters of papers at various conferences, and selected readers — have contributed to this book that it’s impossible to even begin to list them all. But let me set the academic stage first. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-12

This book is not about physics, let alone mathematics, equations, or matrices, but is about conflicting and controversial quantum theories in books written by scientists for the general public and their effect on the fiction writers and texts I discuss. It is about the quantum, subatomic realm, that elusive “bottom line” of all quantum theories, ...

read more

1. Deconstructing Quantum Theory: From Modernism to Postmodernism

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-46

So much have the popular conceptions of quantum and cosmological theories invaded our intellectual and cultural space that even as prolific and profound a literary critic as George Steiner resents their hypnotic power: “But why should quantum physics have a monopoly on contradiction and difficulty?” (32). ...

read more

2. The Quantum Flux as/in Fiction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 47-92

In the past several years no one has written about the relationship between quantum theory and literary deconstruction as perceptively and as rigorously as Arkady Plotnitsky, whose essay “Thinking Singularity with Immanuel Kant and Paul de Man: Aesthetics, Epistemology, History, and Politics” I discovered in Marc Redfield’s Legacies of Paul de Man (2007). ...

read more

3. Styles of Quantum Leaps

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 93-126

Visions or intimations of the quantum realm not only haunt the structure of much postmodernist fiction but also affect the style of many of these writers. Just as that structure can be episodic, fragmented, discontinuous, and disrupted, just as it can raise questions about the relationship between separate parts and the uncertain possibility of a larger whole, ...

read more

4. Quantum Quandaries: Death and/of the Self

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-158

We have seen how quantum theories contribute to the structure and the style of works by several writers in contemporary American fiction, underwriting them in a way that reflects the postmodern vision from many angles, but they also underscore several themes that these writers create and confront. ...

read more

5. Revelation of the Quantum Realm: Underworld and Against the Day

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 159-194

The first reviews of Underworld in 1997 praised the opening prologue, a description of a 1951 baseball game; delighted in the number of characters and incidents; hailed the prose style and the backwards chronology; and focused on the half-century of history, between the Cold War and its collapse, covered in the book. ...

read more

Epilogue: A Selection of Postmodern Critics

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-200

Heisenberg’s idea that “the observer changes the thing observed” becomes the literary theorist’s notion that “the act of observation determines what is and isn’t observed” (Lindley 7). As a result several literary critics have relied upon quantum and/or chaos theory to help them understand what goes on in many postmodernist works of fiction. ...

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 201-208

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 209-222