By Gordon E. Slethaug
Beautiful Chaos is the 1st publication to check modern American fiction during the lens of chaos idea. The booklet specializes in fresh works of fiction via John Barth, Michael Crichton, Don DeLillo, Michael Dorris, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, Carol Shields, and Robert Stone, all of whom comprise points of chaos thought in a single or extra in their novels. They accomplish this via their disruption of traditional linear narrative varieties and their use of strategic tropes of chaos and order, yet also--and extra considerably for an realizing of the interplay of technological know-how and fiction--through their self-conscious embody of the present rhetoric of chaos conception.
Since the ebook of James Gleick's Chaos: creating a New technology in 1987, chaos idea has been taken up through a large choice of literary critics and different students of the humanities. whereas contemplating the connection among chaos concept and up to date American fiction, attractive Chaos info simple assumptions approximately orderly and dynamic structures and some of the manifestations of chaos thought in literature, together with mimesis, metaphor, version, and metachaotics. It additionally explains specific good points of orderly and dynamic structures, together with entropy, bifurcation and turbulence, noise and data, scaling and fractals, generation, and weird attractors.
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Additional resources for Beautiful Chaos: Chaos Theory and Metachaotics in Recent American Fiction
To give the picture of the whole between examining it in detail. Like looking with your eyes at something, say a passing coastline, and then looking at it with 15x binoculars. Or rather, maybe, looking at it and then going in and living in it—and then coming out and looking at it again . . [it] had a pretty good unity” (Reynolds 231–32). This unity in diversity inherent in individual stories is very like, and perhaps even drawn from, that of relativity and quantum mechanics, which move the focus from the particular—the particles—to the underlying entity, the field.
This unity in diversity inherent in individual stories is very like, and perhaps even drawn from, that of relativity and quantum mechanics, which move the focus from the particular—the particles—to the underlying entity, the field. The movement of the particles may seem frenetic and chaotic, but order, balance, and symmetry are found in the underlying field. The order drawn from the diversity of perspectives is, however, without a totalizing, hierarchical, or divine vision. Technological developments and the influence of new physics are always implicit, and often explicit, in these Modernist texts.
Almost immediately, the narration reemphasizes the importance of quantum physics in adding that “With wet fingertip Amy taps her borrowed Scientific American. ‘Says here that photons behave like particles sometimes and other times like waves. I’m wondering how it is with us’” (107). In a very metafictive manner, the characters assert that they “are decidedly in the Particle Mode: particles particles particles” (119), but the story brings in several uses of waves, among them: the “rogue wave” that nearly destroys their sailboat and marriage (as recorded in another story, “Preparing for the Storm”); the porpoises playing in their “bow wave”; and Hokusai’s woodblock print The Breaking Waves Off Kanajawa (120), which is famous as an example of fractals (Briggs and Peat 112, 198); Lucretius’s notion of flux and flow in water and waves; the fans’ raising their arms at baseball games in a gesture called “the Wave”; and waves of fear that overcome Amy and Richard at certain moments.
Beautiful Chaos: Chaos Theory and Metachaotics in Recent American Fiction by Gordon E. Slethaug