Consciousness, Literature, and Science Fiction
Goonan, Kathleen Ann
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This paper explores the connections between language, literature, and consciousness. The first section discusses the possible origins of literature. Section two focuses on the literature of the twentieth century and how it reflects a change in the way reality was perceived by a great portion of the scientifically and culturally informed public. It includes a discussion of C.P. Snow's "The Two Cultures" lecture given at Cambridge in 1959, which explicated a split between the ways in which science and literature perceived reality after Einstein's revolutionary early papers, and relates this to Stephen Pinker's contention, in THE BLANK SLAE, that the trends of Modernism and Postmodernism have impeded the scientific sophistication of both the general reading public and academe. The conclusion points to science fiction as an important literature, which links these two cultures.