Robots, human hybrids and fictional monsters assembled from graveyard body parts by mad scientists have haunted literature for centuries. The frightening but alluring motif highlights a long and complex love affair between literature and science; an affair filled with fascination, commonalities, differences and antagonism. Over the past decades, however, the two cultures have found common ground and interest, giving a momentum to consider the complex intersections in their historical contexts.
The Art of Discovery has evolved from this vantage point. Bringing together scholars of literature, natural sciences, and philosophy of science, the anthology spans the 19th and 20th centuries and discusses a range of different entcounters. These include Goethe's theory of colour, Darwin's 'filthy heraldries', Sigrid Undset's usage of biology, and the literary responses to the first man on the moon, Baudelaire's infatuation with magnetism, the robot as a theme in literature, and literature's moral imperative post Hiroshima.
The anthology, by internationally renowned scholars, brings new perspectives to the existential, ethical, intellectual and metaphysical implications of the agelong love-hate relationship between the 'two cultures'.