Test Tube Envy

J. Andrew Brown

Science and Power in Argentine Narrative

262 pages
ISBN 1611482294
LC 2004027218
Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory

Test Tube Envy: Science and Power in Argentine Narrative examines the strategies by which narrative shapes scientific discourse and through which popular science determines narrative form over 150 years of the country's writing. Beginning with Domingo Sarmiento and Argentina's Generation of 1837 and continuing through authors such as Lucio Mansilla, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar and others, Test Tube Envy explores the construction and exercise of social power on and through scientific expression. The book examines this dynamic in relation to scientific disciplines that range from nineteenth-century phrenology and ethnography to twentieth-century quantum mechanics, cybernetics, and chaos theory. Brown argues that, while the twentieth century introduces a series of complexities to the relationship between science and literature, surprising continuities endure that allow us to understand more fully the literary genealogy of many of Argentina's writers, while also appreciating new levels of their innovations.

"What Brown does do is arrive at a distinction between sf as a genre and other types of literature that have incorporated scientific discourse, either to establish an authoritative voice or to discredit science as a monolithic source of truth [...] The author does a good job of providing 150 years of historical context and resources for further study of scientific discourse in the narrative tradition of Argentina" --Aaron Dziubinskyj, DePauw University (Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 34, 2007)

About the author:

J. Andrew Brown is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis.


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