By Ira Livingston
A shift in how we comprehend the area and ourselves, extra displacing the nature/culture divide as soon as so definitive for modernity
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Extra resources for Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics
Though phrased as a request for information, the question participates fully in—and in fact precipitates—the object of its inquiry; the meaning of the question is what it makes happen, and who or what is us (friends? lovers? ) hangs in the balance. It is clearly part of an experiment, a trial balloon, but neither the question nor any answer to it could possibly be disinterested, or, rather, it is clear that disinterestedness on the part of the questioner or respondent will also shape in very particular ways what is happening!
Foucault was quite cautious—one might even say coy—when it came to forecasting such realignments: “Nothing can tell us in advance on which side the through road lies” (339). Predicting earthquakes is an unreliable business, but the lack of a transcendental vantage point is really not the problem, since after all (to paraphrase Blake), the mole and not the eagle is in touch with what’s happening underground. Or to change the metaphor slightly, it is not in spite of our embeddedness in the web of forces that we study but because of it—because it pulls on us from various directions—that we can (like spiders) have some sense of what may be happening and where, even if “we can at the moment do no more than sense the possibility” (387) of large-scale epistemological change in the making.
Indd 29 9/6/05 10:38:30 AM 30 . be t ween science and liter ature Exercises in Style (Queneau) Scaling in Biology (Brown and West) Bastard Out of Carolina (Allison) Aliens in America (Dean) Reading through the rearranged titles reveals surprising consistencies (for example, the way threeness in titles seems to function as the sign of plurality in interrelation) and surprising inconsistencies (for instance, the ease with which couplings signify similarity or difference, the unease of the subordinations enacted by modiﬁers and possessives, the erratic orbit of of ), along with variously promising ad hoc juxtapositions.
Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics by Ira Livingston