The Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules Verne by Andrew MartinThe Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules Verne by Andrew Martin

The Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules Verne

byAndrew Martin

Paperback | June 4, 2009

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This highly original study is concerned with the theory of knowledge. It approaches the subject in a new way by exploring the recurrent paradox which equates pure ignorance with perfect knowledge, twin ideals free from the impurities and imperfections of discourse. The author combines the techniques of literary criticism and intellectual history in order to examine the literary, philosophical, theological, and political ramifications of this anxiety about, and ambition to transcend, the limits of the text. Dr Martin begins by tracing a network of interlocking motifs and images - beginning and end, nescience and omniscience, genesis and renascence, savagery and civilization - across a broad spectrum of texts from the Book of Genesis through the Renaissance (in particular the works of Nicholas of Cusa and Erasmus) to Rousseau. The central section of the book translates these temporal oppositions into the spatial antithesis of East and West in the Orientalism of Hugo, Napoleon and Chateaubriand. A final chapter draws together these apparently disparate themes in a consideration of the dichotomy of science and literature in Jules Verne's Voyages Extraordinaires.
Title:The Knowledge of Ignorance: From Genesis to Jules VerneFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.63 inPublished:June 4, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521112486

ISBN - 13:9780521112482

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Table of Contents

General editors preface; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Beginning; 2. Nescience and omniscience; 3. The occidental orient; 4. The scientific fictions of Jules Verne; 5. End; Notes; Translations; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

'The paradoxical relationship between knowledge and ignorance is inscribed in the most important or influential myth of origin in our culture. It is this relationship which Andrew Martin explores in this unusual and original book, written with great economy, wit, and style. Martin's book is exceedingly clever, at times brilliant, packed with elegant ideas and suggestive insights.' Tony Tanner, The Times Higher Education Supplement