Mark Leidner's Reviews > Science and Poetry

Science and Poetry by Mary Midgley
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's review
Jan 22, 2010

did not like it
Read in January, 2010

shrill. the prose is okay, but it reads like someone had a drum to beat, and they beat it. florid argument. file this under 'books by authors who cannot restrain themselves from slightly incendiary verbs and adjectives all the way through that limit their convincingness.' i bet if you already agreed with her, this might make fun beach reading. but if you come to it with a skeptical mind, the introduction alone will make you want to do something better with your time. makes you respect poetry more, though, since its authors have to kowtow to formal constraints that force, i suppose, a certain degree of honesty. but this book is written at breakneck rant-speed, with a sheer veil of 'i swear i'm being objective' draped over it. saw no shape i recognized in its arguments. like some mid- to high-level television writing, the associations proceed with dishonest, fallacious, or equivocating logic (but its plausible if you aren't paying attention). wish someone would've shrieked against science more persuasively. i'm still looking for a convincing deconstruction. the best thing she said was how physicists have moved beyond determinism, which is true, or at least they seem to have in the little literature on the subject i have ingested - if only she could have been patient, you know? start us with this portrait of physicists, slowly and painstakingly and vividly elucidate upon it, then move with more narrative savvy from there, toward the gaea idea. but instead the author rails and leaps and beats that drum. but i can't hear it anymore.
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