In his article "A Consilient Science and the Humanities in McEwan's Enduring Love" Curtis D. Carbonell provides a reading of a Third Culture novel that foregrounds the relationship of the sciences and the humanities. In Ian McEwan's novel we see a perfect example of how literary thinkers are listening to the world of science and speaking to it in return. This article responds to Stephen Greenberg's ideas about how Neo-Darwinian themes in the novel point to social themes by arguing that what underlies both of these is a deeper structure: the tension between C.P. Snow's Two Cultures, which is only one cycle in a longer engagement/conflict between science and the humanities. In particular, Carbonell reads McEwan's primary character, science-minded thinker Joe Rose, as juxtaposed by two foils that represent the humanities: a Keats's scholar, his wife Clarissa, and a religious fanatic and erotomaniac, Jed Parry. Carbonell analyzes the novel demonstrating that Joe's rationality is not quite so rational. McEwan represents Joe as a complex character to complicate a falsely simplistic dichotomy of the sciences and the humanities. The novel is best read, therefore, as an example of how a Third Culture might be envisioned as a true melding of the two categories.
Carbonell, Curtis D
"A Consilient Science and Humanities in McEwan's Enduring Love."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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