Book ID: CBB204147348

Chaos Imagined: Literature, Art, Science (2016)


Meisel, Martin (Author)

Columbia University Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 608
Language: English

The stories we tell in our attempt to make sense of the world—our myths and religion, literature and philosophy, science and art—are the comforting vehicles we use to transmit ideas of order. But beneath the quest for order lies the uneasy dread of fundamental disorder. True chaos is hard to imagine and even harder to represent. In this book, Martin Meisel considers the long effort to conjure, depict, and rationalize extreme disorder, with all the passion, excitement, and compromises the act provokes.Meisel builds a rough history from major social, psychological, and cosmological turning points in the imagining of chaos. He uses examples from literature, philosophy, painting, graphic art, science, linguistics, music, and film, particularly exploring the remarkable shift in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from conceiving of chaos as disruptive to celebrating its liberating and energizing potential. Discussions of Sophocles, Plato, Lucretius, Calderon, Milton, Haydn, Blake, Faraday, Chekhov, Faulkner, Wells, and Beckett, among others, are matched with incisive readings of art by Brueghel, Rubens, Goya, Turner, Dix, Dada, and the futurists. Meisel addresses the revolution in mapping energy and entropy and the manifold effect of thermodynamics. He then uses this chaotic frame to elaborate on purpose, mortality, meaning, and mind.

Reviewed By

Review Keith Tribe (2018) Review of "Chaos Imagined: Literature, Art, Science". American Historical Review (p. 549). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Samuel, Nina
Kromm, Jane E.
Leitz, Robert C., III
Cope, Kevin Lee
Ciancio, Luca
Leslie, Esther
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Geostorie, Bolletino e Notiziario del Centro Italiano per gli Studi Storico-Geografici
AMS Press
Reaktion Books
Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints
Yale University Press
Science and art
Visual representation; visual communication
Science and literature
Science and culture
Natural history
Scientific illustration
Humboldt, Alexander von
Flammarion, Camille
Wilson, Alexander
Bartram, William
Peale, Charles Willison
Audubon, John James
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century
16th century
Great Britain

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