Creativity and Science in Contemporary Argentine Literature: Between Romanticism and Formalism

By Joanna Page

© 2014

With a burgeoning academic interest in Latin American science fiction and cyberfiction and in representations of science and technology in Latin American literature and cinema, this book adds new understanding to the growing body of interdisciplinary work on the relationship between literature and science in postmodern culture.

Joanna Page examines how contemporary fiction and literary theory in Argentina consistently employ theories and models from mathematics and science to probe the nature of innovation and evolution in literature. Theories of incompleteness, uncertainty, and chaos are often mobilized in European and North American literary and philosophical texts as metaphors for the inadequacy of our epistemological tools to probe the world's complexity. However, in recent Argentine fiction, these generalizations are put to very different uses: to map out the potential for artistic creativity and regeneration in times of crisis. Page focuses on texts by contemporary Argentine writers Ricardo Piglia, Guillermo Marti´nez and Marcelo Cohen, which draw on theories of formal systems, chaos, emergence, and complexity to counter proclamations of the end of philosophy or the exhaustion of literature in the postmodern era.

This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how newness and creativity have been theorized, tracing often unexpected relationships between thinkers such as Nietzsche, Deleuze, and the Russian Formalists. It is also the first time that a major study in English has been published on the work of Martínez, Piglia, or Cohen.

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Product Details

  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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  • PUBLISHED FEB 2014
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Creativity and Science in Contemporary Argentine Literature: Between Romanticism and Formalism

By Joanna Page

© 2014

With a burgeoning academic interest in Latin American science fiction and cyberfiction and in representations of science and technology in Latin American literature and cinema, this book adds new understanding to the growing body of interdisciplinary work on the relationship between literature and science in postmodern culture.

Joanna Page examines how contemporary fiction and literary theory in Argentina consistently employ theories and models from mathematics and science to probe the nature of innovation and evolution in literature. Theories of incompleteness, uncertainty, and chaos are often mobilized in European and North American literary and philosophical texts as metaphors for the inadequacy of our epistemological tools to probe the world's complexity. However, in recent Argentine fiction, these generalizations are put to very different uses: to map out the potential for artistic creativity and regeneration in times of crisis. Page focuses on texts by contemporary Argentine writers Ricardo Piglia, Guillermo Marti´nez and Marcelo Cohen, which draw on theories of formal systems, chaos, emergence, and complexity to counter proclamations of the end of philosophy or the exhaustion of literature in the postmodern era.

This book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how newness and creativity have been theorized, tracing often unexpected relationships between thinkers such as Nietzsche, Deleuze, and the Russian Formalists. It is also the first time that a major study in English has been published on the work of Martínez, Piglia, or Cohen.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.9in x 0.8in x 9.0in

It is commendable that Page has taken on a multidisciplinary approach to seek alternatives to think anew creativity's potential beyond the postmodern . . . a welcome engagement with the debates keeping the humanities and sciences apart.

-Juan G. Ramos, MLN


An immensely stimulating and insightful analysis of complex and multi-faceted literary works.

-Hugh Hazelton, University of Toronto Quarterly


Stimulating . . . an important theoretical reflection on the relationship between science and literature

-Eduoardo Balletta, Journal of Latin American Studies

JOANNA PAGE is a senior lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Crisis and Capitalism in Contemporary Argentine Cinema (2009) and the co-editor of Visual Synergies in Fiction and Documentary Film from Latin America (2009).

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Countering Postmodern Apocalypticism

1. The Science of Literary Evolution: Between Romanticism and Formalism
A Postmodern Prometheus: innovation and Tradition in Literature
Martinez Non-Linearity, topology, turbulence, and other (Formalist) models of literary renewal

2. Allegories of Reading in an Age of Immanence and Unvertainty
Serial polysemia: Crimes of Logic
Interpretation and interpretosis in an immanent world
Literature: the laboratory of the future

3. Mathematics and Creativity
Crative contradictions and them athematics of postmodern thought
Post-Romantic pinciples of creativity in a self-organizing universe

4. Machines, Metaphors, and Multiplicity: Creativity beyond the Individual
Post-Romantic writing machines
Entropy and metaphor

Conclusion: Literature and Science, Neither One Culture Nor Two

Bibliography
Notes
Index