Yeats and Science Fiction

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Yeats and Science Fiction

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dc.contributor.author Albright, Daniel
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-03T14:35:57Z
dc.date.issued 1996
dc.identifier.citation Albright, Daniel. 1996. Yeats and science fiction. Bullan 2(2): 1-18. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1353-1913 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3710798
dc.description.abstract The young Yeats spent some years editing the poems of William Blake, and Yeats inherited much of Blake’s contempt for science, Blake’s sense that Newton was the devil who murdered the living cosmos and substituted dead mathematical abstractions. For all his life Yeats felt hostile to the extreme objectivism of Newtonian physics; but as he grew older he read popularized accounts of Einstein’s work, and he came to believe that advanced scientific thought was starting to converge with Yeats’s own philosophical beliefs–Berkeleian and occultist. Yeats believed this partly because he misunderstood some of the ideas of recent physics. But scientists themselves were in fact trying to work toward a vision of reality congruent with poetry (Whitehead called Shelley an excellent scientist; Crookes considered that the ectoplasmic emanations from spirit mediums might represent a new state of matter). And in a certain sense Yeats was right: later developments in physics have shown that the act of measuring can actually influence the physical world, so that mind and matter are indeed a far more integrated system than Newtonian physics would allow. In the course of this paper I will look not only at Yeats’s philosophical writings but also at a number of examples from Yeats’s poetry in which scientific ideas, such as wave vs. particle constructions of reality, are prominent. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship English and American Literature and Language en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Notre Dame Press en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://undpress.nd.edu/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Yeats and Science Fiction en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Accepted Manuscript en_US
dc.relation.journal Bullan -Oxford- en_US
dash.depositing.author Albright, Daniel
dc.date.available 2010-03-03T14:35:57Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7219]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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