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Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to by Ira Livingston

By Ira Livingston

A shift in how we comprehend the area and ourselves, extra displacing the nature/culture divide as soon as so definitive for modernity

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Additional info for Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics

Sample text

But no sooner have they been adumbrated than all these groupings dissolve again, for the field of identity that sustains them, however limited it may be, is still too wide not to be unstable; and so the sick mind continues to infinity, creating groups then dispersing them again, heaping up diverse similarities, destroying those that seem clearest, splitting up things that are identical, superimposing different criteria, frenziedly beginning all over again, becoming more and more disturbed, and teetering finally on the brink of anxiety.

Indd 34 9/6/05 10:39:01 AM an introduc tory vigne t te . 35 Eventually, I got a job in New York. The seacoast has never really spoken to me; it’s not in my blood. The beaches of Long Island struck my eye with a stupefying sameness: all whites and beiges and pastels of plain quartzes and light-colored granites, uniformly rounded by the waves, like a vast crowd of nattering voices, and no one speaking to me. Not content even with so much sameness, the town where I lived had the beaches raked periodically with a giant machine, removing every rock larger than a golf ball.

The world will not change. This must be why Shakespeare has Macbeth, in a moment of hopeless fatalism, seem to describe living itself as the reading aloud of an already written text: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time . . 19–21) The repeated words “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” mark the repetitive sameness of reading, not only in the eyes scanning back and forth but also in the very marks on the page: the same thirty or so letters and punctuation marks, again and again, and mostly the same words, too, and in the very same grammatical patterns, repeated over and over with only petty permutations.

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