Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tallis, Raymond. "The Neuroscience Delusion." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT (2008).

Not long ago A. S. Byatt published a TLS Commentary (“Observe the Neurones”, September 22, 2006) in which she purported to explain why, since she discovered John Donne’s poetry as a schoolgirl in the 1950s, she had found him “so very exciting”. She discussed some of his most compelling love poems and in places showed the kind of sensitive attention to the writer’s language and intention that we look for in a good, that is to say helpful, critic. This made it puzzling, indeed exasperating, that the primary concern of her piece was to explain the poems and their effect on her by appealing to contemporary neurophysiology. She took up this theme again in a shorter piece, on the novel, last year (November 30). The literary critic as neuroscience groupie is part of a growing trend. . . . Read the rest here: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article3712980.ece. (See also http://philosophysother.blogspot.com/search/label/Topics%3A%20Human%3A%20Mind%3A%20Literature.)

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