Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to by Ira Livingston

By Ira Livingston

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

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Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics

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

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

Example text

There is a would-be general science of signs—or at least a name for such a projected science—semiotics, first proposed in modern form in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by American philosopher C. S. Peirce and independently by Ferdinand de Saussure. Peirce in particular wanted to extend the reach of semiotics to cover the entire universe, which he regarded as “perfused with signs, if it is not composed exclusively of signs” (cited in Noth 41), whereas Saussure was more concerned with establishing the independent status of language (in the more narrowly conceived sense) as a system-unto-itself.

What is a performative question? ” Though phrased as a request for information, the question participates fully in—and in fact precipitates—the object of its inquiry; the meaning of the question is what it makes happen, and who or what is us (friends? lovers? ) hangs in the balance. It is clearly part of an experiment, a trial balloon, but neither the question nor any answer to it could possibly be disinterested, or, rather, it is clear that disinterestedness on the part of the questioner or respondent will also shape in very particular ways what is happening!

And this very same book, read by different people, will bear radically different fruits, and all the more so if it travels between cultures, in time and space. Even for a single reader, this book may well function at one moment to spark a long-lost memory or a new inspiration, at another a headache or a nap or just the blink of an eye. Far from being oppressively the same, arguably, a book is oppressively plural and different: its wake is too choppy and too fleeting; its meaning is too slipperily, swarmingly different at every moment even to handle, much less to master.

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