Einstein's Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist by Michael H. Whitworth

By Michael H. Whitworth

Starting with influential points of nineteenth-century physics, Einstein's Wake qualifies the idea that Einstein by myself used to be liable for literary "relativity"; it is going directly to learn the high-quality element of his legacy in literary appropriations of clinical metaphors, with specific realization to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, and T. S. Eliot.

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Extra resources for Einstein's Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist Literature

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For this reason, rigorous and thoughtful examinations of habit are especially crucial in the modern age. Further, the failure to provide a rich vocabulary for understanding and modifying habit in modernity has left us ill-equipped to deal with emergencies at precisely the historical moment when such an ability has become a pressing need. MODERNIST HABIT 29 Dewey ascribes this intellectual failure, like so many others, to the proliferation of easy and artificial dichotomies in philosophical thought.

James’s understanding of habit takes shock very much into account. It is a measure of his respect for shock as a potentially beneficial catalyst for change that he takes the entire process of change seriously, and not just the individual moment of shock itself. Dewey, too, explicitly acknowledges that the “experienced shock of change is the necessary stimulus to the investigating and comparing which eventually produce knowledge” (RP, 131). He, like James, demonstrates a keen sense of preparation for the shocks and emergencies of modern life, and recognizes both their destructive and their rejuvenating potential.

Unless “new habits are formed” to accompany such “critical and revolutionary experiences,” change will be momentary and superficial. New habits will not be formed unless our “motives are lasting”; in other 28 PRAGMATIC MODERNISM words, active and ongoing effort must be combined with momentary excitement for change to be meaningful. ” On the contrary, it is precisely James’s belief in the revivifying power of shock that leads him to insist on the necessity of developing better habits. James’s understanding of habit takes shock very much into account.

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