By Michael H. Whitworth
Starting with influential points of nineteenth-century physics, Einstein's Wake qualifies the idea that Einstein by myself used to be chargeable for literary "relativity"; it is going directly to research the tremendous aspect of his legacy in literary appropriations of clinical metaphors, with specific recognition to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, and T. S. Eliot.
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Additional resources for Einstein's Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist Literature
His mobility within the closed group “embodies the synthesis of nearness and distance” (402). Because of his mobility, the stranger encounters members of the community to which he is not organically connected. The stranger can offer a “positive and speciﬁc kind of participation”: his is a freedom of detachment (404). Simmel’s category of “strangeness” is thus an alternative to membership in the nation: “The stranger is close to us, insofar as we feel between him and ourselves common features of a national, social, occupational, or generally human, nature.
Similarities between “The Black Christ” and Melville’s short novel Billy Budd have been noted by critics (see Early 207 or Smylie 162). Although there is no proof that Cullen read it, it is known that he had read other books by Melville. Themes of Christian resignation, revolution, and the necessity of order are apparent in both works. Like Billy Budd, Jim of “The Black Christ” is tempted and rebellious but resists temptation; like Billy, Jim kills another man. While Billy Budd goes to the gallows to satisfy the demands of the king’s law, Jim hangs on the tree for his challenge on the southern racist taboo of “gynecolatry” and his impulse to avenge innocent love.
Simmel’s category of “strangeness” is thus an alternative to membership in the nation: “The stranger is close to us, insofar as we feel between him and ourselves common features of a national, social, occupational, or generally human, nature. He is far from us, insofar as these common features extend beyond him or us, and connect us only because they connect a great many people” (406). The stranger’s presence in the community allows for an identiﬁcation that is beyond the restrictive categories of difference or sameness that justify national boundaries and deﬁne citizenship.
Einstein's Wake: Relativity, Metaphor, and Modernist Literature by Michael H. Whitworth