Consciousness and Literature: A Writer’s View
Kathleen Ann Goonan
This article 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 Slate, that the trends of Modernism and Postmodernism have impeded the scientific sophistication of both the general reading public and academe. In the third and fourth sections, I examine the processes of reading and writing from both a writer’s point of view and the point of view of a preschool teacher. The conclusion looks to a future in which these processes are scientifically understood and fully facilitated by the educational system.
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Last Update 4/21/03
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