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Physics Envy – American Poetry and Science in the Cold War and After - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Physics Envy: American Poetry and Science in the Cold War and After

Peter Middleton


This book argues that after WWII American poets found themselves in an increasingly scientific world where natural and social sciences claimed exclusive rights to knowledge of matter and mind. Physics led the way. This encouraged other disciplines, especially social sciences, to borrow physics concepts to form their own scientific conceptual schemes. Around mid-century, Muriel Rukeyser and Charles Olson developed similarly would-be scientific models for a poetics of inquiry. The book compares their efforts, and places them in a wider context of a history of interrelations between modern Americ ... More

Keywords: American poetry, physics, Muriel Rukeyser, Charles Olson, epistemological, conceptual scheme, Robert Duncan, George Oppen, Amiri Baraka, Scientific American

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226290003
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226290140.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Middleton, author
University of Southampton

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