Science and literature have always been strange bedfellows. Like puzzle pieces, they fit because they’re different. Some of the greatest works of world literature have been inspired by the marvels of the scientific world. Scientists have written works of the imagination. Even formal scientific writings have been known to employ rhetoric. There is a tendency to think of literature—and the humanities in general—as having little to do with science. Yet scholars have conducted fruitful studies of the history and philosophy of science. With the rise of technology, scholars have also applied scientific analysis to the study of literature and the creative process. The intersection of scientific and humanistic inquiry is finally being mapped. This volume includes more than 650 A-Z entries on topics and themes in science and literature, significant writers, key scientists, seminal works, and important theories and methodologies.
This reference defines the rapidly emerging interdisciplinary field of literature and science. An introductory essay traces the history of the field, its growing reputation, and the current state of research. Broad in scope, the volume covers world literature from its beginnings to the present day and illuminates the role of science in literature and literary studies. A wide range of experts contributed entries to this volume, each of which concludes with a brief bibliography. The entire volume closes with a list of works for further reading.