Fact and Fiction: Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain

Edited by Christine Lehleiter

© 2016

Fact and Fiction explores the intersection between literature and the sciences, focusing on German and British culture between the eighteenth century and today.  Observing that it was in the eighteenth century that the divide between science and literature as disciplines first began to be defined, the contributors to this collection probe how authors from that time onwards have assessed and affected the relationship between literary and scientific cultures.

Fact and Fiction’s twelve essays cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from physics and chemistry to medicine and anthropology, and a variety of literary texts, such as Erasmus Darwin’s poem The Botanic Garden, George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Goethe’s Elective Affinities. The collection will appeal to scholars of literature and of the history of science, and to those interested in the connections between the two.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Illustrations: 5
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP003538

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2016

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    Regular Price: $77.00

    ISBN 9781442645981
  • PUBLISHED APR 2016

    From: $57.75

    Regular Price: $77.00

Quick Overview

Fact and Fiction explores the intersection between literature and the sciences, focusing on German and British culture between the eighteenth century and today.

Fact and Fiction: Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain

Edited by Christine Lehleiter

© 2016

Fact and Fiction explores the intersection between literature and the sciences, focusing on German and British culture between the eighteenth century and today.  Observing that it was in the eighteenth century that the divide between science and literature as disciplines first began to be defined, the contributors to this collection probe how authors from that time onwards have assessed and affected the relationship between literary and scientific cultures.

Fact and Fiction’s twelve essays cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from physics and chemistry to medicine and anthropology, and a variety of literary texts, such as Erasmus Darwin’s poem The Botanic Garden, George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, and Goethe’s Elective Affinities. The collection will appeal to scholars of literature and of the history of science, and to those interested in the connections between the two.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Illustrations: 5
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘The contributions succeed in both advancing understandings of historical processes of disciplinary differentiation and integration from the eighteenth century onwards and in introducing new perspectives on perennial debates concerning the potential value of literary cultures to the production of scientific knowledge. For this, perhaps above all else, the volume deserves a wide readership.’


    Steve Howe
    European Romantic Review vol 28:04:2017

    "This volume should be welcomed as an essential contribution to inter-disciplinary eighteenth- and nineteenth-century studies… It is an exemplary instance of the translation of a symposium into a published work and will be appreciated by researchers and advanced students of historical cultural studies in Europe as well as specialists in the question of literature and science."


    Joseph D. O'Neil, University of Kentucky
    University of Toronto Quarterly, vol 87 3, Summer 2018

    ‘This collected volume presents a timely intervention into current disciplinary debates about the humanities and sciences…Fact and Fiction is an excellent example of interdisciplinary work in humanities.’


    Yevgenya Strakovsky
    Monatshefte vol 110:01:2018

    “This anthology is an important contribution to the field of literature and science. The scholarship as a whole, its depth and breadth, is truly impressive.”


    Thomas L. Buckley, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, St Joseph's University
  • Author Information

    Christine Lehleiter is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction. Fact and Fiction: Literary and Scientific Cultures in Germany and Britain Thoughts on a Contentious Relationship
    Christine Lehleiter

    PART I Reading: Electricity, Medicine

    1 Facts Are What One Makes of Them: Constructing the Faktum in the Enlightenment and Early German Romanticism
    Jocelyn Holland

    2 The Competing Structures of Signification in Samuel Hahnemann’s Homeopathy: Between 18th-century Semiosis and Romantic Hermeneutics
    Alice Kuzniar

    PART II Imagining: Botany, Chemistry, Thermodynamics

    3 “She comes! – the GODDESS!”: Narrating Nature in Erasmus Darwin’s The Botanic Garden (1791)
    Ann Shteir

    4 Elective Affinities / Wahlverwandtschaften: The Career of a Metaphor
    Christian Weber

    5 Physics Disarmed: Probabilistic Knowledge in the Works of James Clerk Maxwell and George Eliot
    Tina Young Choi

    PART III Sensing: Anthropology, Psychology, Aesthetics

    6 Herder’s Unsettling of the Distinction between Fact and Fiction
    John K. Noyes

    7 Fictional Feedback: Empirical Souls and Self-Deception in the Magazine for Empirical Psychology and Beyond
    Michael House

    8 Fictional Feelings Psychological Aesthetics and the Paradox of Tragic Pleasure
    Tobias Wilke

    PART IV Relating: Biology

    9 Coining a Discipline: Lessing, Reimarus, and a Science of Religion
    Stefani Engelstein

    10 Kin Selection, Mendel’s “Salutary Principle,” and the Fate of Characters in Forster’s Longest Journey
    Daniel Aureliano Newman 

    PART V Displaying: Scientific Collections

    11 Anatomy Collections in and of the Mind: Science, the Body and Language in the Writings of Durs Grünbein and Thomas Hettche
    Peter M. McIsaac

    12 Vivifying the Uncanny: Ethnographic Mannequins and Exotic Performers in Nineteenth-Century German Exhibition Culture
    Dana Weber

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