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Dr Alistair Brown
Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more

Science as Writing, Writing as Science: Addressing the Boundaries of Literary Criticism and Fiction


This essay considers the values and limitations of reading scientific texts as literary narratives, and the importance of fictional writing in relation to real-world science. By using literary theory to interpret both varities of text, it evidences that literary criticism's powerful flexibility derives precisely from its not being bound to operate within the rigorous methodologies of scientific practice. Thus it reinforces Sokal's argument against scientistic, post-modern forms of theory. (First Published Online: December 10, 2006)


The harsh world of The Origin of Species (1859) is one in which fate intercedes often, ensuring the struggle for life is not justly repaid with rewards in reproduction: "How many animals there are which will not breed, though living long under not very close confinement in their native country!...how many cultivated plants display the utmost vigour, and yet rarely or never seed!"1 Against the struggle for existence which is most "severe between species of the same genus" (OOS 78), in a recurring cycle of fratricide, man is heroically differentiated, involved not in any domestic battle for mere survival, but striving through networks of scientific associates for an understanding of the construction of his world.

The experience of a knowledgeable human society pitted against a harsh natural backdrop reminds of Moby Dick (1851), in which man is made alert to his own weakness in relation to a hostile and chaotic environment, and against which the narrator Ishmael asserts order through strenuous intellectual pursuits.2 As in Moby Dick, in The Origin of Species the paradoxical outcome of this struggle for knowledge against the struggle for survival is that the narrator's enthusiastic demonstration of encyclopaedic classification develops ironically into a bizarre obsession:

Believing that it is always best to study some special group, I have, after deliberation, taken up domestic pigeons. I have kept every breed which I could purchase or obtain, and have been most kindly favoured with skins from several quarters of the world, more especially by the Hon. W. Elliot from India, and by the Hon. C. Murray from Persia....I have associated with several eminent fanciers, and have been permitted to join two of the London Pigeon Clubs. (OOS 82)

Like the "sub-sub-librarian" of Melville's text, the narrator of The Origin of Species examines the natural environment as a palimpsest or book:

I look at the natural geological record, as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. (OOS 316)

When he uncovers new and inexplicable phenomena, he also find elisions from the biological and geological record, new mysteries which "confound" him, exposing the "heavy disadvantage" he "lies under" (OOS 207) at the limited number of case studies he has been able to examine. For both intellects situated at the mid-nineteenth century, each new discovery opens further questions in their self-perpetuating quests for enlightenment. As Ishmael observes, in another metaphor that relates the natural world to the cultural environment, "Out of the trunk the branches grow; out of them, the twigs. So, in productive subjects, grow the chapters." (MD 241).

Ultimately, however, bibliographical quest for understanding leads the narrator of The Origin from his tight focus on individual animals, subject to the whims of fate, to the transcendental speculation of infinite regeneration:

There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. (OOS 459-60)

With its cumulative clauses, and shifts in perspective from the individual to the global, from the past to future, the final sentence itself develops into a lyrical recreation of the spiralling, fractal rhythms of physical evolution. The narrative of The Origin of Species progresses from the battle for life at the level of the individual, to the irrepressible velocity of evolution over the aeons. Philosophically, then, the problem is not that fatal metaphysical forces act in unjust, unaccountable and unpredictable ways, but that Man does not possess the extended temporal perspective from which to perceive the long-term design behind their apparently random and immediate impacts. It is his ability to move from the microscopic focus on the present, to the wide perspective of the geological timescale, which is the writer's heroic aspect.

This brief analysis of The Origin of Species that treats it as if it were a literary text with a central, "narrating" character, a poetic use of language and a skeletal plot, and that acknowledges comparisons between these aspects and Melville's work, yields the embryonic thesis that mid-nineteenth-century culture, on both sides of the Atlantic, imaged heroes as pioneer intellectuals projected against the physical environment of the natural order (very different conceptions of heroism to those of Paradise Lost or the Greek epic). Whilst Darwin's theory may have prompted a Victorian ontological crisis about the status of man descended from monkeys, encoded within its stylistics is a residual Kantianism, in which man's reason and language asserts his authority and superiority over the natural world. These interpretations indicate that scientific theories may be analysed productively in terms other than science.

Indeed, literary analyses are insightful precisely because they do not utilise an objective, empirical method. My analogy with an existing set of information (Moby Dick) was justified only on the basis of broad stylistic similarities. Given that it was not until the later nineteenth century that Melville's work was widely disseminated as a masterpiece, it is unlikely Darwin would have read the novel. Therefore to draw out this intertextual relationship is implicitly to accept Eliot's hazy notion of the canon - in which the new writer unconsciously possesses the "historical sense" of existing literature - such that Melville's and Darwin's work may be thematically interrelated.3 However, New Critical arguments contest that drawing in influences external to the text under scrutiny is not a valid methodology for literary criticism. Of this school, John Crowe Ransom argued that, rather, "Criticism must become more scientific, or precise and systematic."4 His use of the word "scientific" here is loosely defined, a conflation of values of "professionalism" and "inquiry" into the "constitution and structure" of literature. Ransom qualifies his use of the term "scientific" by saying criticism "will never by a very exact science, or even a nearly exact one"; rather, it is scientific because "the total effort...must be consolidated and kept going." But, sixty years after Ransom's comments, the very absence of a "systematic approach" to literature implies that even this partial recruitment of the values of science to the aim of literary studies is invalidated. Rather, literary theory has developed (is developing) into a dynamic and multifaceted system of observation of many different cultural products, not just texts, even as Literary Studies it has become increasingly "incorporated," formalised as an vital school of the academic institution. As a result, it is possible for me today to make aesthetic evaluations of the The Origin of Species not simply as an autotelic construct as Ransom would have wanted, but based also on its connections with other works of literature in historical context.

Far from being directed towards some productive end as a science, literary theory instead remains in permanent irresolution. Change the test, and the result changes; necessarily selective, one could also change the input data (the quotations and sections chosen for special consideration) and come out with a different result. For example, a feminist reading of The Origin of Species might have noted the way man is described as the "selector" and the "creator" (96), and that in descriptions of sexual behaviour it is always the male who subjects the female to his gaze who is already, even before he has "valued" her, his possession by right of his gender:

Nor let it be thought that some great deviation of structure would be necessary to catch the fancier's eye: he perceives extremely small differences, and it is in human nature to value any novelty, however slight, in one's own possession. (97)

In contrast to the implied passivity of the female, the male is admirably proactive; the narrator admires "the truly wonderful power of scent by which the males of many insects find their females," whilst recoiling in horror at the existence of an industrious female, asking rhetorically: "can we admire the production for this single purpose of thousands of drones...which are ultimately slaughtered by their industrious and sterile sisters" (230).

Where a concept (such as intertextuality) is invoked in a reading like mine over and above other concepts (such as feminism), it therefore requires justification from existing theories, something which the conventions of academic writing achieve through the critical apparatus of references, footnotes, and citations. In these, the general use of surnames to address authors heralds them as disembodied authorities, voices of general knowledge rather than personalities expressing individual ideas and unique approaches (feminist, Eliotian) to the text. In order to assert his or her exegesis in a coherent and convincing fashion directed primarily towards the focal text, the writer of the critical essay selectively references those theses which support his or her arguments; otherwise the work would spiral into a reductio ad absurdum of justifying critiques explaining why the other theoretical angles from which it could be approached are actually invalid. As a result, literary critical writing in the form accepted by the academic institution necessarily never fully confronts the need to eliminate alternative explanations for a particular textual phenomena whilst - since literary criticism is a discursive arena driven by debate, dialogue and continually developing theories - there can exist no uncontested, axiomatic terms (such as intertextuality) which are accepted as conventional explanations for the structure of a piece of language. Hence post-structuralist approaches, denying logocentrism and asserting a continual deferral of meaning such that a final verdict on a text can never be reached, are potentially very honest about the limitations of the discipline in which they are situated.5

Terry Eagleton has argued that literary criticism "defines for itself a special object, literature, while existing as a set of discursive techniques which have no reason to stop short at that object at all."6 As my analysis of The Origin of Species shows, neither literary criticism or science need be barricaded from each other on the grounds that they are inevitably incompatible, and literary theory can indeed range productively against artefacts outside the conventional literary canon.7 But if, in consequence, literary theory derives its sense as a distinct intellectual field based on its stylistic qualities - its formal characteristics rather than the content its idioms convey - it is therefore a dangerous contradiction of its own modes of working when it imports "concepts from the natural sciences...without giving the slightest conceptual or empirical justification," so that the terminology and structures of science lend credence to it as if it is a scientific enterprise (FN 4). Literary criticism's powerful flexibility derives precisely from its not being bound to operate within the rigorous strategies of scientific methodology and procedure, though it may use what appear to be pseudo-scientific conventions in the structure of arguments and their presentation in texts.

The question about whether it is appropriate to deploy the devices of one discipline against an artefact from another is not whether those interpretative modes are, ultimately, the most insightful. In fact, because a reading of a scientific text as if it were a literary one focuses on the linguistic qualities of the text, rather than on its scientific conclusions, they can never provide a reading which takes into account all the ways in which the text connects with the culture outside itself. A literary approach to The Origin of Species uncovers some of its significances in a way empirical measurements could not and, as Gillian Beer has shown in her extensive study entitled, symbolically, Darwin's Plots, The Origin of Species had such an impact on Victorian culture because it was a profoundly polemical text couched in an accessible language which resounded with charged ideological terms such as "man" and "race."8 However, as Darwin's theories are built upon by sub-disciplines such as contemporary biology, whilst his work in its original form no longer widely unsettles modern thinking (mediated instead through ideas such as genetic modification), his suppositions take on their principal significance in more specialist scientific spheres. The Origin of Species is a discursive tract suited to a literary approach, but it is difficult to make a literary study of a contemporary paper on the Carbon-14 dating of a fossil, even though that text may endorse or contest Darwin's hypotheses and therefore initiate alternative reactions to the way his language operates, undermining or enforcing the reader's belief that the narrator is a reliable (even heroic) intellectual witness to his world. In the most extreme rejection of The Origin of Species, creationists or proponents of Intelligent Design oppose what is said, rather than how Darwin says it. Thus although the text may be, for me and them, aesthetically pleasing - we can both appreciate how it is constructed, the way language works within it - a principally literary approach to the cultural significances of The Origin of Species can elide the fact that the counterstrike from some branches of contemporary religion has been mediated through scientific data, albeit often substantially manipulated or misappropriated. Attacking or enlarging the scientific foundation for the theories automatically tackles Darwinist implications at root, whereas an exegesis of Darwin's language does not. As the Catholic physicist Robert Krauss has argued, the moment scientists stop contesting the Intelligent Design movement in empirical terms, they get onto the same misrepresentations of scientific ground that creationists use as their starting point.

Intelligent Design's assertions that evolutionary science is of a "historical (and thus very subjective) nature" bear some resemblance to Marxist and post-structuralist perspectives on the text as an always ideological construct; the desire of the Intelligent Design movement that scientific objectivity be balanced by something called "constitutional neutrality" might be an implicit call for the death of the author(ity) of scientific rationalism.9 Such a recruitment of literary theory evidences the negative ways in which it has permeated contemporary discussions and constructions of science. As my modernist (but not postmodernist) reading of Origin of Species showed, even in such cultural contests as that of Intelligent Design versus evolutionism, the scientific text may ultimately be more significant for the ways in which its content connects with other scientific data, rather than for its internal semiotics and discursive modes. One way of lifting this apparent limitation on literary theory's range has been to conceptualise science systemically and holistically as a social construction, as just another "language game." Consequently, as Alan Sokal noted, "if one accepts epistemic relativism, there is less reason to be upset by the misrepresentation of scientific ideas, which anyway are just another 'discourse'."10 In its promotion of "epistemic relativism," postmodern literary theory can certainly be accused of having opened the ground by which science can come into a violent "cultural encounter" with fundamental Christianity, to echo the title of another of Gillian Beer's works.

But whilst Beer acknowledges that there are limits to reading science in terms of the literary, Jean François Lyotard sees no such barrier to his intellectual enquiry. Instead, science is opened fully as just another form of discourse, whilst scientific methods are compressed into the text of cultural theory. Lyotard argues that postmodern science faces a crisis of legitimation as the grand narratives of the "dialectic of Spirit" and the "emancipation of humanity" are no longer valid formulae, in a postmodern age, for determining the proper relationship between science and the society for which that science is produced.11 However, Lyotard's argument that both science and society are in a "postmodern" condition is justified only because "The word [postmodern] is in current use on the American continent among sociologists and critics," and therefore "it designates the state of our culture following the transformations...which have altered the game rules for science, literature and the arts."12 It is spoken, therefore it is. But if legitimation in such a culture must take place through paralogy, as Lyotard argues, then Lyotard's own solution is by implication only one possible element of a continual dialectic. However, his is the particular voice in the debate which satisfies the definition of what constitutes the "postmodern" as this term (now presented as axiomatic) is shared and authorised by the institution (the Conseil des Universitiés) for which his text was produced and developed a priori as a definitive "Report on Knowledge." Lyotard's "report" may be an extreme symptom, but in all critics, citations and references implicate the writer into a culture upon which he or she draws, and towards which his or her new work automatically then projects itself. One vital element of Sokal's infamous parody of such postmodern discourse in his Social Text article was the sheer number of references and citations he made,13 all of which were, in being used to endorse something which was conceived and constructed to be untrue, undermined or ironically misappropriated (FN 246-258).

Rather than barring literary theory from discussing the role and discourses of science - which can produce limited, but nonetheless enlightening, readings of something like The Origin of Species - the fundamental question Sokal asks is whether literary theory is always honest about the fact that its methodologies, styles and critical apparatus provide just one aspect of a broad spectrum of alternative theories, one particular and limited mode of insight. Terry Eagleton suggests, rightly, that literary theory could be deployed to examine the sign systems of a party; but given that the vast majority of human interaction is constituted at the non-linguistic level, it may not provide as many insights into the mechanisms of that social activity as, for example, a body-language expert tuned in reading those physical signs. The problem, therefore, is not so much about the validity of deploying the tools of one discipline against the artefacts from another, but about whether each discipline remains honest about its own limitations as it brings to bear its epistemological perspective on the thing in question: science, literature, body language. This is a dilemma faced by all forms of modern literary criticism because of the self-endorsing bibliographical mechanisms of the critical essay and the specialist group for which it is specifically published. The additional hypocrisy of poststructuralism, as practised by Lyotard, is that it may recruit the discourses of science which, with their aura of integrity and compliance with specific rules, can make it appear as if it is asserting its form of criticism as the only way of knowing (or always not knowing) a text, even whilst it denies the possibility of a truly knowable reality constructed as it is through a language of différence. It was this lack of self-reflexivity, above all, to which Sokal objected most strongly, the fact that being able to play the particular "language game" of postmodernist literary theory was "lauded as the height of scholarly achievement," rather than that achievement being its having an actual political effect within the "real" world whose very existence it anyway denies.14

This stipulation that literary work have an impact in a real, political context is not one that needs to be met directly by creative fiction. Literary science fiction does not shoulder the same responsibility that it demarcate the limits of its relationship with the actual scientific environment as non-fictional, critical writing because, by its very nature, it is protected by its a priori status as fiction, not fact. When in 1938 Orson Welles translated War of the Worlds onto radio, mass hysteria resulted.15 By channelling the story as a series of progressively extended news bulletins interrupting the normal flow of programming, it became impossible to distinguish between the varieties of the real and the fictional. Tellingly, the radio performance eliminated that vital frame which establishes the fiction as fiction when opening a book with H.G. Wells' authorship on the cover. The sense of an author allows the text to be properly orientated so that it is clear that the imaginative author has created the performative space in which science functions as part of an imagined plot. As Foucault argues:

The author's name serves to characterise [and classify] a certain mode of being of discourse: the fact that the discourse has an author's name...shows that this discourse is not ordinary everyday speech that merely comes and goes, not something that is immediately consumable. On the contrary, it is a speech that must be received in a certain mode and that, in a given culture, must receive a certain status.16

In the radio programme, the "live" reporting of events in effect ensured the death of the author as the first victim of the alien invasion. The radio performance highlights the extent to which, in his usual literary context, Wells is read as a science-fiction writer, located within a generic category he helped to establish. This sense of the generic status of the author permits the science in his novels to be recognised as science in fiction, rather than mistaken as science as fact.

This is not simply evident when reading Wells retrospectively from the twenty-first century. The Time Machine was subtitled An Invention, a paratextual marker which draws attention to the creation not only of the machine itself, but to the imaginative text in which it is represented.17 Wells' novels highlight the creative operations of the author, often taking the form of stories embedded within one another: the uncle's documentary record is relayed as the "strange account" of Dr. Moreau;18 the tale of the Time Traveller is delivered to a respectable group of dinner party guests, one of whom is the ultimate narrator; the first chapter of War of the Worlds implies that the story is a retelling of events already recounted to readers of The Daily Telegraph and Nature.19 The novels allude to genuine scientists such as Huxley (IDM 27) or Professor Simon Newcomb (TM 61), connect with real-world locations (IDM 3), or mention topical personages such as Hettie Potter (TM 73), connections which ground them as "real" narratives. This play with contexts of the real world out of which the novel's alternative emerges is central to the science-fiction genre, as Kelly Hurley suggests:

Though the science-fiction text depicts fantastic events...these do not violate he precepts of reality, however defined within its host culture. Rather, the science-fiction text represents extraordinary possibilities that are consistent with, and may be logically derived from, the knowledge systems of the culture in which it was written. In Zgorzelski's terms, there is no confrontation of models of reality in the science-fiction text, for the text commences in and develops an "alternate" reality.20

But this sense that the science embedded within the fiction is "realistic" in the fiction's own terms, is offset by the flickering presence of other potential authors, the awareness from the frames which surround the scientific narrative that there are several possible perspectives on events, the most significant of which is that the technologies described do not exist, that they are a fantasy.

Yet what makes Wells' work continue to resonate powerfully in a contemporary context is that technology appears to have caught up to his fictional projections. The imagination of the author is instated anachronistically as a mechanism of scientific endeavour, as he apparently not only prophesies the course of scientific developments, but disturbingly in that prophecy seems to have guided their directions which seek fulfilment of his foresight. As time travel is awakened as a possibility (albeit through wormholes), or as Nazism's "ethnic cleansing" seem to borrow from the eugenics of Dr. Moreau, or genetic engineering mythically threatens a kind of patricide only slightly different from that which occurs on his island, there is a sense of the Freudian uncanny in reading Wells' work, of the fantastic thing experienced both in the fiction, then experienced again within the familiar technological environment of the early twentieth century.21 The relationship becomes inverted: it is not the presence of science in the fiction which is a disturbing juxtaposition, but the fact that science seems to be living up to fiction.

Science therefore provides, somewhat paradoxically, a metaphor for the instability and uncertainty faced by the self in the modern environment, as one genre and epistemological strategy intrudes on the other in unanticipated ways. It is a particularly powerful metaphor when postmodern science seems (rightly or wrongly) to be "freed from the goal of objectivity" (FN 266). In Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, the physicist Thelma argues strongly for artistic qualities in science:22

A scientific revolution, no, an intellectual revolution, an emotional, sensual explosion, a fabulous story just beginning to unfold for us...Reality, whatever that word means, turns out to be a thousand times stranger...The measurers of the world can no longer detach themselves. They have to measure themselves too. Matter, time, space, forces - all beautiful and intricate illusions in which we must now collude. (CIT 44)

For Thelma, the science faculty is now internally divided, no longer taking the solely objective perspective, as evidenced by the congruence of signifiers usually found at opposite ends of the epistemological spectrum: "intellectual" and "sensual"; "measures" and "illusions"; "reality" and "strangeness." Sokal argued that some cultural critics have fallen into conceptualising and presenting advanced theoretical science as a pastiche of terms which imply the elasticity of functions previously considered stable, such as time, space and matter. What they don't stress is that such flexibility is purely theoretical and takes place only at extreme subatomic or universal levels, and therefore can not be extended to deny the reality - as part of a general post-structuralist philosophy - of those forces as experienced in the normal environment of the present. McEwan, in voicing the character of Thelma, presents a similar mistaken assumption. However, unlike cultural theorists who use science stylishly to validate their arguments, in an attempt to project their particular philosophy as authoritative, rational and permanent, the novel is a temporary period of imaginative experience, which reflects, as much as it creates, the prevailing perceptions of science as it has been mediated to non-specialist society (including McEwan) as a "supermarket of theories...written up for the layman in books of the 'fancy that' variety" (CIT 117). Nevertheless, McEwan is one of the first batch of novelists who were the "product" of the university creative writing course. With the expansion of this more formalised approach to creative writing, the perceptions of science may become institutionalised (as with literary criticism), inculcated by those who teach the practice of creative writing as the best or, worse, only way in which science should be utilised and presented in other forms of creative discourse.23

Novels can provide remarkably accurate imaginative hypotheses for the courses of science; scientific tracts can be productively interpreted as if they were novels, since their language and structure sometimes resembles the plots of fiction. In making the enlightening translation between discursive arenas, the challenge is whether the writer is honest about the nature of his own writing as being only one way of seeing the world; this is something the paratextual frames of the science fiction novel readily admit, and which the bibliographical contexts of the critical essay often don't. But, as well as literary critics assuming the blame for selectively using science to endorse their philosophies, it should be recognised that it is the attempt made by some scientists to represent its processes in sensational, dramatic and novelistic ways which has contributed to the false redefinition of empirical science as being "unreal" fantasy.

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  1. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859, ed. and introd. J.W. Burrow (London: Penguin, 1985) 42; henceforth abbreviated OOS. [Back to text]

  2. Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851, ed. and introd. David Herd (Ware: Wordsworth, 1993); henceforth abbreviated MD. [Back to text]

  3. T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent," 1919, 20th Century Literary Criticism: A Reader, ed. David Lodge (London: Longman, 1972) 71-77, at 72. [Back to text]

  4. John Crowe Ransom, "Criticism, Inc.," 1938, 20th Century Literary Criticism: A Reader, ed. David Lodge (London: Longman, 1972) 228-39, at 229. [Back to text]

  5. Johnathan Culler, Deconstruction (London: Routledge, 1983) 19. [Back to text]

  6. Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983) 202. [Back to text]

  7. Conversely, empirical measurements can be used in innovative ways by literary critics as one tool of their studies. For example, Helmut Bonheim created a computer program to analyse the narrative modes of the short story over the last two hundred years, in an attempt to show that generally speaking (he emphasises that he does not find a rule, a securely empirical principle) it has essential characteristics which differentiate the short story from the novel.See Helmut Bonheim, The Narrative Modes: Techniques of the Short Story (Cambridge: DS Brewer, 1992). [Back to text]

  8. Gillian Beer, Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000) [Back to text]

  9. Intelligent Design Network: Seeking Objectivity in Origins Science, 2005, Intelligent Design Network Inc., 26 June 2006 <http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/>. [Back to text]

  10. Alan Sokal, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (New York, NY: Picador, 1998) xi; henceforth abbreviated FN. [Back to text]

  11. Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, 1979, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1987) 60. [Back to text]

  12. Lyotard xxiii. [Back to text]

  13. Alan Sokal, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," Social Text 46-47 (1996): 217-252 [Back to text]

  14. Alan Sokal, "A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies," Lingua Franca 6.4 (1996): 62-64, New York University, Department of Physics, 9 Feb. 2005 <http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/lingua_franca_v4/lingua_franca_v4.html> [Back to text]

  15. For the script of the broadcast, and transcripts of newspaper reports of the response of listeners, see "Radio's War of the Worlds Broadcast," History of American Broadcasting, ed. Jeff Miller, 17 Feb. 2005 <http://members.aol.com/jeff1070/wotw.html>. [Back to text]

  16. Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?" Textual Strategies, ed. Josué V. Harari (Methuen: London, 1980) 141-160, at 147. [Back to text]

  17. H.G. Wells, The Time Machine: An Invention, 1895, ed. Nicholas Ruddick (Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2001); henceforth abbreviated TM. [Back to text]

  18. H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1896 (London: Everyman-J.M. Dent, 1993); henceforth abbreviated IDM. [Back to text]

  19. H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, ed. Martin A. Danahay (Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2003). [Back to text]

  20. Kelly Hurley, The Gothic Body: Sexuality, Materialism, and Degeneration at the Fin De Siecle. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004) 16. [Back to text]

  21. Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny," Standard Edition, trans. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1955) 217-256, at 242. [Back to text]

  22. Ian McEwan, The Child in Time, 1987 (London: Vintage, 1997); henceforth abbreviated CIT. [Back to text]

  23. David Lodge, "Literary Criticism and Literary Creation," The Arts and Sciences of Criticism, ed. David Fuller and Patricia Waugh (New York: Oxford UP, 1999) 137-52, at 142. [Back to text]

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This page was published on December 10, 2006 | Keywords: science, two cultures, literature, scientism

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