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The Relationship between Literature and Science in John Banville’s Scientific Tetralogy


Sidia Fiorato

Starting from the debate between the two cultures, the book analyzes the relationship between literature and science in the last years of the twentieth century in the light of scientific theories which universally underline both their indeterminacy and their lack of universal values (Relativity Theory, Quantum Mechanics, the Uncertainty Principle, Chaos Theory). Scientific theories are echoed in literary texts but also a reverse influence from literature to science has taken place. In his scientific tetralogy John Banville analyzes the figures of those scientists who contributed to a paradigm shift in the world view from the early modernity to the present. His interest is not exclusively focused on epistemology but rather on the creative mind of the scientist. Science appears to follow the same epiphanic creative process as literature in its understanding of, and theorizing upon, an enigmatic sort of reality.


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BIBLIOGRAPHY BY JOHN BANVILLE NOVELS Long Lankin, London, Secker & Warburg, 1970. Nightspawn, Loughcrew, The Gallery Press, 1993. Birchwood, London, Secker & Warburg, 1976. Doctor Copernicus, London, Martin Secker & Warburg, 1976. Kepler, London, Martin Secker & Warburg, 1981. The Newton Letter , London, Martin Secker & Warburg, 1982, Boston, David R. Godine, 1987. Mephisto, London, Martin Secker & Warburg, 1986, David R. Godine, 1989. The Book of Evidence, London, Martin Secker & Warburg, 1989, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989. Ghosts, London, Secker & Warburg, 1993. Athena, London, Secker & Warburg, 1995. The Untouchable, London, Picador, 1998. Eclipse, London, Picador, 2000. Shroud, London, Picador, 2002. PLAYS The Broken Jug, Loughcrew, Co Meath, The Gallery Press, 1987. God's Gift, Oldcastle, Ireland, Gallery (Dufour, distr.), 2001 (2000). 191 ARTICLES J. Banville, A Talk, in Irish Literary Supplement, XI, I (Spring), 1981, pp. 13-17. Banville, John, "The Dead Father", in Irish University Review Vol. 12, N. 1, Spring 1982, pp. 64-68. Banville, John, "Out of the Abyss", in Irish University Review, Vol. 4, N. 1, Spring 1984, p. 102. Banville, John, "Physics and Fiction: Order from Chaos", in The New York Times Book Review, 21 April, 1985: 1, pp. 41-42. Banville John, "Q & A with John Banville", in Irish Literary Supplement, 1987, p. 13. Banville, John, "Survivors of Joyce", in Martin-Augustine (ed.). James Joyce:• The Artist and the Labyrinth, London, Ryan, 1990, pp. 73-81. Banville, John, "Nabokov's Dark Treasures", in New-York-Review-of-Books, New York, NY. 1995 Oct 5; 42(15), pp. 4, 6. Banville, John, "The Painful Comedy of Samuel Beckett", in New-York-Review-...

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