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By James Wood

This publication recollects an period while feedback may possibly swap the way in which we glance on the international. within the culture of Matthew Arnold and Edmund Wilson, James wooden reads literature expansively, regularly pursuing its function and future in our lives. In a sequence of essays approximately such figures as Melville, Flaubert, Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, and Don DeLillo, wooden relates their fiction to questions of non secular and philosophical trust. He means that the regular ebb of the ocean of religion has a lot to do with the progressive energy of the unconventional, because it has built during the last centuries. To learn James wooden is to be stunned into either pondering and feeling how nice our debt to the radical is.

In the grand culture of feedback, Wood's paintings is either remark and literature in its personal right--fiercely written, polemical, and richly poetic popular. This publication marks the debut of a masterly literary voice.

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Source: Collection, Library of Congress. 38 SHAPING CHAOS Peckham’s Man’s Rage for Chaos, reversing the classical perspective and arguing that the disruption of forms, conventions, and regularities is the biological function of art, its very reason for being, remains a challenge to an ingrained orthodoxy. In investigating the representation of chaos in and out of art, I do not intend to pursue Peckham’s argument, though I do intend to reverse the usual perspective and treat order as background, the latent presence whose regular outbreak in those same representations can be too insistent to ignore.

Geoffrey Hartman W hat chaos really is, in and of itself, and what sort of figure it truly cuts in the universe at large—an open question—is not something I know how to address. The notion of chaos is a different matter. The notion of chaos in its most general and traditional framing is a limiting case: the extreme of disorder, where all attributes assignable to order vanish. It is disorder made absolute. It follows from a desire to give shape or a name to our perceptions of discontinuity and dissonance, of confusion and incoherence, perhaps to quarantine them from what belongs to symmetry, shapeliness, and consequence.

But also, it appears, there are some things we simply can’t know, or know in the way we would like to, because of features inherent both in the structure of knowledge and in what is out there to be known. As John Horgan observed while reporting on a symposium on the limits of scientific knowledge: “For three days, a score of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers debated whether it might be possible for science to know what it cannot know. ”27 Much of the residue, or what lies beyond the limits, everything that appears intrinsically unknowable or unfathomable, irreconcilable or insoluble, constitutes the last unplumbed reserve of chaos.

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