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About this product
- DescriptionThis book takes as its starting point Pierre-Simon Laplaces much-cited dream in 1812 of a vast intelligence which can embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the lightest atom and for which the future and the past are equally calculable. Laplace sets out the echt-Enlightenment ideal of scientific omniscience and the classic statement of a deterministic universe. The author investigates some of the ways in which Laplacian and, indeed, Newtonian models of observation and the universe are at once assimilated and complicated by Romantic and Victorian writers such as Carlyle, Burke, Abbott, Poe and Wordsworth. In particular, he aims to retrace some of the ways in which LaplacianNewtonian models of scientific intelligence come to inform nineteenth-century writers views of themselves and their own modes of observation. The author also explains how some of these literary reimaginings look forward to more modern conceptions of science in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such as Chaos Theory and Einsteinian Cosmology. Oddly eugh, contemporary science would seem to realise Carlyles vision of a Natural-Supernaturalism, fusing Laplaces mechanical vision with Romanticism. This groundbreaking book covers a huge array of topics, including philosophy, Wagnerian music-drama, Jungian analysis, and it ends with the supposedly omniscient narrator in Charles Dickenss The Old Curiosity Shop, as an example of what came to be the dominant mode of narration in later Victorian fiction.
- Author BiographyJonathan Taylor is Lecturer in English at Loughborough. He is the author of Mastery and Slavery in Victorian Writing, as well as of essays on Victorian literature. He is currently working on a book on the idea of chaos in nineteenth-century English culture.
- Author(s)Jonathan Taylor
- PublisherSussex Academic Press
- Date of Publication21/08/2007
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationBrighton
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintSussex Academic Press
- Weight324 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine8 mm
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