Einsteins Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist Literature

Hardcover | February 1, 2002

byMichael H. Whitworth

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The revolution in literary form and aesthetic consciousness called modernism arose as the physical sciences were revising their most fundamental concepts: space, time, matter, and the concept of 'science' itself. The coincidence has often been remarked upon in general terms, but rarelyconsidered in detail. Einstein's Wake argues that the interaction of modernism and the 'new physics' is best understood by reference to the metaphors which structured these developments. These metaphors, widely disseminated in the popular science writing of the period, provided a language with whichmodernist writers could articulate their responses to the experience of modernity. Beginning with influential aspects of nineteenth-century physics, Einstein's Wake qualifies the notion that Einstein alone was responsible for literary 'relativity'; it goes on to examine the fine detail of his legacyin literary appropriations of scientific metaphors, with particular attention to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, and T. S. Eliot.

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The revolution in literary form and aesthetic consciousness called modernism arose as the physical sciences were revising their most fundamental concepts: space, time, matter, and the concept of 'science' itself. The coincidence has often been remarked upon in general terms, but rarelyconsidered in detail. Einstein's Wake argues that t...

Michael H. Whitworth Lecturer in English, University of Wales, Bangor

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.75 inPublished:February 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186401

ISBN - 13:9780198186403

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Specialist, the Generalist, and the Popularist2. Things Fall Apart: The Secret Agent and Literary Entropy3. Descriptionism: Consuming Sensations4. An Entente Cordiale? The New Relations of Literature and Science5. Invisible Men and Fractured Atoms6. Simultaneity: A Return Ticket to Waterloo7. Non-Euclidean HumanityConclusionSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Einstein's Wake exercises the fine-grained approach admirably, showing how metaphors of science were employed and transformed by modernist writers.'Charlotte Sleigh, University of Kent at Canterbury