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Title: Popular Science and Modernist Poetry
Authors: Green, Elspeth
Advisors: Kotin, Joshua
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: metaphor
popular science
Subjects: Literature
Science history
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Popular Science and Modernist Poetry studies the influence of popular science on modernist poetry and conceptions of literary value. It takes I.A. Richards’s Science and Poetry as its primary object, using the 1926 book—which was published in two popular science series and reviewed in The Dial, at editor Marianne Moore’s request, by T.S. Eliot—to examine the surprising connections between popular science and modernist poetry and criticism. I include chapters on each of these writers, using archival material to better understand the sources of their scientific knowledge. I argue that popular science writers, in response to increasing difficulty and specialization, sought to explicate their subjects by way of metaphor; in doing so, they fashioned a version of science that was as capacious and interdisciplinary any “encyclopedic” modernist text. Metaphor became, to Richards, a “transaction between contexts,” as he, Moore, and Eliot sought to defend the value of poetry in an increasingly scientific world.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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