Book ID: CBB817048513

Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life (2017)


Goldstein, Amanda Jo (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 336
Language: English

Today we do not expect poems to carry scientifically valid information. But it was not always so. In Sweet Science, Amanda Jo Goldstein returns to the beginnings of the division of labor between literature and science to recover a tradition of Romantic life writing for which poetry was a privileged technique of empirical inquiry. Goldstein puts apparently literary projects, such as William Blake’s poetry of embryogenesis, Goethe’s journals On Morphology, and Percy Shelley’s “poetry of life,” back into conversation with the openly poetic life sciences of Erasmus Darwin, J. G. Herder, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Such poetic sciences, Goldstein argues, share in reviving Lucretius’s De rerum natura to advance a view of biological life as neither self-organized nor autonomous, but rather dependent on the collaborative and symbolic processes that give it viable and recognizable form. They summon De rerum natura for a logic of life resistant to the vitalist stress on self-authorizing power and to make a monumental case for poetry’s role in the perception and communication of empirical realities. The first dedicated study of this mortal and materialist dimension of Romantic biopoetics, Sweet Science opens a through-line between Enlightenment materialisms of nature and Marx’s coming historical materialism.

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Authors & Contributors
Goldstein, Amanda Jo
Browne, E. Janet
Cohen, Claudine
Fischer, Jean-Louis
Corsi, Pietro
Butler, Judith
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Histoire et Nature
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
University of California, Berkeley
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Éditions du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Cambridge University Press
Yale University Press
Science and literature
Poetry and poetics
Science and culture
Natural history
Blake, William
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Étienne
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Darwin, Charles Robert
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
Great Britain
London (England)
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
University of Edinburgh

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