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ERIC Number: EJ1110154
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1358-684X
Darwin vs. Wallace: When Poetry Dies and When Poetry Survives in the Not-so-Natural Selection of Memetic Evolution
Christensen, Bryce
Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, v18 n4 p397-405 2011
The theory of memetic evolution--explaining the reproduction of cultural units called "memes"--illuminates the decline of poetry as a cultural presence by clarifying the contrasting attitudes towards poetry manifested by the co-discoverers of natural selection: Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. Darwin's eventual indifference to poetry can be traced to an all-absorbing faith in science that extinguishes poetry-favouring memes (such as religious beliefs, memories of the "useless" past and reflections on inexplicable mysteries). In contrast, Wallace's abiding passion for poetry reflects a surprising insistence on the limits of science, an insistence that protects poetry-sustaining memes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A