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Author: Ira Livingston
Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.
Author: Ira Livingston

If poetics refers broadly to the principles by which things are made, how is the kind of process that yields poetry (in the narrow sense) related to other kinds of making? This essay explores promising resonances between traditional poetics and new paradigms coming out of complexity and systems theory. Of particular interest is Terrence Deacon’s Incomplete Nature, an account of the relationships among layers of emergent order in the universe, under the heading of a general theory of dynamics. In particular, this essay understands poetry in relation to other kinds of making through three principles Deacon identifies as crucial: constraint, emergence, and absence. These principles tend to validate rather than to undermine traditional accounts of poetic making as inspiration, often involving entification in the form of attribution of creative agency to entities such as muses or to the text itself.

In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion
In: Magic Science Religion