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Scientific art : the tetralogy of John Banville McIlroy, Brian 1991

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SCIENTIFIC ART: THE TETRALOGY OF JOHN BANVILLE by BRIAN STEPHEN McILROY B.A. (Hons.) S h e f f i e l d University, 1981 M.A. Leeds University, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1991 (cT)Brian S. Mcllroy, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date IS /V'l <Wl DE-6G/811 r i i A b s t r a c t The main t h e s i s of t h i s study i s t h a t John B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y makes an a e s t h e t i c a l l y c h a l l e n g i n g attempt to fuse renewed popu l a r n o t i o n s of s c i e n c e and s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s with renewed a r t i s t i c forms. B a n v i l l e i s most i n t e r e s t e d i n the c r e a t i v e mind of the s c i e n t i s t , astronomer, or mathematician, h i s l i f e and times i n Doctor Copernicus (1976) and K e p l e r (1981) , and h i s modern day i n f l u e n c e i n The Newton L e t t e r (1982) and M e f i s t o (1986). The n o v e l i s t ' s w r i t i n g i s a movement of the s u b j e c t i v e i n t o what has normally been regarded as the o b j e c t i v e domain of s c i e n c e . Chapter one g i v e s a c r i t i c a l overview of the p r e s e n t s t a t e of B a n v i l l e s c h o l a r s h i p . I t r e v e a l s t h a t d e s p i t e h i s focus on s c i e n t i s t s , the n o v e l i s t r a r e l y i n v i t e s more than narrow l i t e r a r y approaches. Chapter two d i s c u s s e s the c u l t u r a l context of r e l a t i o n s between s c i e n c e and l i t e r a t u r e . The t h e o r i e s of G e r a l d Holton on s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r y , of A r t h u r K o e s t l e r on c r e a t i v i t y , and of Thomas Kuhn on paradigm change are shown t o be germane t o B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . These t h e o r i e s support the g e n e r a l methodology throughout the d i s s e r t a t i o n . Chapter t h r e e examines the c r e a t i o n of the s c i e n t i f i c genius Doctor Copernicus. In p a r t i c u l a r , the f o l l o w i n g areas are examined: the s c i e n t i s t ' s boyhood; the i n f l u e n c e s of h i s f a m i l y , f r i e n d s and c o l l e a g u e s ; the l i n k between s c i e n c e and p u b l i c p o l i c y ; the s c i e n t i s t ' s l i v i n g and working c o n d i t i o n s ; and the s c i e n t i s t ' s thematic p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . Chapter f o u r continues the e x p l o r a t i o n of the s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c process of s c i e n c e with r e g a r d t o the astronomer K e p l e r . T h i s chapter's d i s c u s s i o n of the brotherhood of s c i e n c e , a s t r o l o g y , p h y s i c a l i z a t i o n , r e l i g i o n and dreams i n e v i t a b l y r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s about the r o l e of the s c i e n t i s t i n s o c i e t y and how h i s ideas are developed. Chapter f i v e r e v e a l s the importance of the e x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s t h a t go i n t o the composition of any p u r p o r t e d l y o b j e c t i v e s c i e n c e . In The Newton L e t t e r , both the g r e a t E n g l i s h s c i e n t i s t and h i s I r i s h b i o g r a p h e r seem to s u f f e r from s i m i l a r paradigm s h i f t s . Chapter s i x on M e f i s t o argues t h a t r e c e n t s c i e n t i f i c theory, i n c l u d i n g the s c i e n c e of chaos, informs the work, p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h r e g a r d t o the n o t i o n s of symmetry and asymmetry. Chapter seven concludes by advancing the argument t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s work i s a much needed c o n t r i b u t i o n to I r i s h c u l t u r e , which has tended t o i g n o r e the s o c i a l p o t e n t i a l of s c i e n c e . i v Table of Contents A b s t r a c t i i Acknowledgements v i Chapter One: I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 I. C r i t i c a l Overview 4 I I . Chapter O u t l i n e 35 Chapter Two: The C u l t u r a l Context: Reading L i t e r a t u r e and Science 4 6 I. W r i t i n g on A r t and Science 47 I I . M e t h o d o l o g i c a l Approaches 66 Chapter Three: A S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t : Doctor Copernicus.. 87 I. The S c i e n t i s t ' s Boyhood 93 I I . The Family Breakdown 101 I I I . P h i l o s o p h i c a l Assumptions 108 IV. F r i e n d s , Colleagues, Women 116 V. R h e t i c u s 124 VI. Science and G e o p o l i t i c a l R e a l i t i e s 129 V I I . Some Co n c l u s i o n s 137 V Chapter Four: Re—Ordering Disorder: B l u r r i n g Science and Art i n Kepler 140 I. Order From Disorder 148 II. The Brotherhood of Science 158 I I I . Religion and Science 169 IV. Astrology 174 V. P h y s i c a l i z a t i o n 178 VI. Dreams, Visions, Prophecies 183 Chapter Five: Reconstructing A r t i s t i c and S c i e n t i f i c Paradigms: The Newton Letter 188 I. Dealing With Crises 194 II. F a i l i n g Systems 207 Chapter Six: Casting and Recasting Theories: Mefisto.. 217 I. S c i e n t i f i c Marionettes 221 II. Angels From Hel l 229 II I . Asymmetry/Symmetry 237 Chapter Seven: Banville, Science, and Ireland 252 Bibliography A. Primary 271 B. Secondary 27 3 Acknowledgements T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n c o u l d not have been w r i t t e n without the h e l p and support of a number of people. I wish t o thank foremost my s u p e r v i s o r P r o f e s s o r John Wilson F o s t e r whose a t t e n t i o n t o d e t a i l g r e a t l y enhanced t h i s work through a l l i t s v a r i o u s stages. P r o f e s s o r s Andrew P a r k i n , P e t e r T a y l o r , Andrew Busza, and P a t r i c i a M e r i v a l e have a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d generously t h e i r thoughts about t h i s p r o j e c t , and t o them I owe thanks. 1 Chapter One: I n t r o d u c t i o n The main t h e s i s of t h i s study i s t h a t the n o v e l i s t John B a n v i l l e b r i d g e s i n h i s work s c i e n c e and a r t by e x p l o r i n g and n u r t u r i n g a n a l o g i e s between f i c t i o n and s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y . H i s f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y makes an a e s t h e t i c a l l y c h a l l e n g i n g attempt t o fuse renewed n o t i o n s of s c i e n c e and s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s with renewed a r t i s t i c forms. Doctor Copernicus (1976), Kepler (1981), The Newton L e t t e r (1982), and M e f i s t o (1986) are doubly f i c t i o n a l . As a whole, the t e t r a l o g y argues t h a t s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y comprises much f i c t i o n , and B a n v i l l e ' s novels are, t h e r e f o r e , f i c t i o n s which d i s c u s s an i n i t i a l f i c t i o n . T h i s " d o u b l i n g " h e l p s t o e x p l a i n the m u l t i p l i c i t y of f i c t i o n a l t echniques employed by the author. These i n c l u d e numerous competing n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s , which imply t h a t t h e r e i s no omniscient viewpoint, no u n i f i e d t h e o r y of the u n i v e r s e . These n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s a l s o h e l p t o imply t h a t every new theory has t o go through a s o c i e t a l t e s t i n g procedure (a l a Darwin), which p e r f o r c e can never be t r u l y o b j e c t i v e . The m a g n i f i c e n t n a r r a t i v e power of h i s n o v e l s i s e x p l a i n e d not merely by the c h o i c e of great i n t e l l e c t u a l s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s as s u b j e c t s of i n q u i r y , but a l s o by the r i c h n e s s of imagery, the d e t a i l e d c h a r a c t e r a n a l y s e s , the p r e s e n t a t i o n of e x c e p t i o n a l l y c o n t r o l l e d (though emotive) 2 scenes, and the d e l i b e r a t e formal and t e c h n i c a l c h a l l e n g e s which the author s e t s the reader i n each t e x t ' s d e s i g n . These techniques h e l p the reader t o uncover two major themes advanced by the t e t r a l o g y : (a) t h a t major s c i e n t i f i c advances have depended, and w i l l depend i n the f u t u r e , j u s t as much on p a s s i o n , s u b j e c t i v i t y , and i r r a t i o n a l i t y as on detachment, o b j e c t i v i t y , and r a t i o n a l i t y ; and (b) t h a t s c i e n t i f i c paradigms, " u n i v e r s a l l y r e c o g n i z e d s c i e n t i f i c achievements t h a t f o r a time p r o v i d e model problems and s o l u t i o n s t o a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s , " are not s t a b l e but are c o n s t a n t l y s h i f t i n g (Kuhn 1970, v i i i ) . The examination of the p rocess of paradigm change i s p a r t i c u l a r l y germane t o B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . B a n v i l l e i s most i n t e r e s t e d i n the c r e a t i v e mind of the s c i e n t i s t , astronomer, or mathematician, h i s l i f e and times (Doctor Copernicus and K e p l e r ) , and h i s modern day i n f l u e n c e (The Newton L e t t e r and M e f i s t o ) . The n o v e l i s t ' s w r i t i n g i s a movement of the s u b j e c t i v e ( d e f i n e d here as e x p e r i e n t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n ) i n t o what has normally been regarded as the o b j e c t i v e ( d e f i n e d here as experimental o b s e r v a t i o n ) domain of s c i e n c e . Fundamentally, e x p e r i e n t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n s , s i n c e based on experience, are c h a o t i c and d i s o r d e r e d , rampant wit h c o n f l i c t i n g p e r s o n a l emotions and f e e l i n g s ; by c o n t r a s t , experimental o b s e r v a t i o n s are o f t e n l i n e a r i n c o n c e p t i o n , s i n c e based on c o n t r o l l e d c o n d i t i o n s and hypotheses, and are t h e r e f o r e t y p i f i e d by method and r a t i o n a l i n q u i r y . When an experiment c r e a t e s an unexpected 3 r e s u l t , the tendency of normal s c i e n c e i s t o d i s m i s s i t as an e r r o r . B a n v i l l e ' s work emphasizes t h a t the need f o r theo r y emerges from experience, while the f o r m u l a t i o n of a theo r y emerges from an act of c r e a t i o n . The s o c i a l v a l i d a t i o n o f a the o r y emerges only p a r t l y from e x p e r i m e n t a l o b s e r v a t i o n . " E x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t o r s are important t o a th e o r y ' s o r i g i n , acceptance, and d i s s e m i n a t i o n , i s s u e s which B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l s e x p l o r e . T h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y chapter reviews the p r e v i o u s c r i t i c i s m on B a n v i l l e ' s work and e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t the s c i e n t i f i c element i n the I r i s h w r i t e r ' s f i c t i o n has been, more o f t e n than not, g l o s s e d over by narrow l i t e r a r y approaches. T h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n concludes by b r i e f l y o u t l i n i n g the c h a r a c t e r and content of my s i x subsequent chapters, which attempt t o t r a v e l some way t o r e d r e s s the c r i t i c a l imbalance mentioned above. The c r i t i c i s m so f a r of John B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n i s marked g e n e r a l l y by an u n w i l l i n g n e s s on the p a r t of c r i t i c s t o take the w r i t e r ' s i n t e r e s t i n s c i e n c e as an end i n i t s e l f . The major c r i t i c a l summations of B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l s may be c a t e g o r i z e d as f o l l o w s : m e t a f i c t i o n s (Deane 1977 and Imhof 1989), p o e t i c metaphors (McMinn 1988 and O'Brien 1989), h i s t o r i c a l c h a r a c t e r s t u d i e s (Molloy 1981), p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a c t s (McCormack 1987), c o v e r t p o l i t i c a l b r o a d s i d e s (Outram 1988) and t r a n s i t i o n a l modernist t e x t s (Kearney 1988). As I proceed i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , I hope i t w i l l be apparent t o the reader t h a t when I s t r e s s c e r t a i n 4 c r i t i c s ' " b l i n d s p o t s , " i t i s i n an e f f o r t t o push the " s c i e n c e debate," however l o o s e l y d e f i n e d , t o the f o r e f r o n t of a t t e n t i o n . 1. C r i t i c a l Overview I t i s testimony to John B a n v i l l e ' s p r e c o c i o u s n e s s and t a l e n t t h a t the f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t a r t i c l e on h i s work was w r i t t e n by Seamus Deane, a c r i t i c who has c o n s i s t e n t l y c l e a r e d a pathway f o r much advanced c r i t i c i s m i n I r i s h s t u d i e s . Deane (1976) has set the agenda of i n q u i r y on B a n v i l l e ' s f i r s t t h r e e books. Although I do not d w e l l on Long Lankin (1970), Nightspawn (1971), and Birchwood (1973) i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e t o examine the e a r l y development of B a n v i l l e c r i t i c i s m , s i n c e i t has clouded c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the l a t e r t e t r a l o g y . Deane h i g h l i g h t s the s e l f — c o n s c i o u s n e s s of B a n v i l l e ' s s t y l e , i t s a n t i — r e a l i s m , i t s obvious i n f l u e n c e s — N a b o k o v , Green, Hesse, Barth, B o r g e s — a n d i t s p r e o c c u p a t i o n with memory. Deane's o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t B a n v i l l e chooses t o w r i t e i n the f i r s t person but i n the past tense t o communicate the sense of l o s s which any r e c o u n t i n g e x c i t e s i s a p p r o p r i a t e t o the l a t e r t e t r a l o g y . Deane b e l i e v e s t h a t the e s s e n t i a l chasm i n the f i r s t t h r e e books i s t h a t between the w r i t e r and h i s audience, r a t h e r than between the w r i t e r and h i s m a t e r i a l . In Deane's l i t e r a r y map, B a n v i l l e ' s work belongs t o a 5 Romantic t r a d i t i o n which i p s o f a c t o "possesses" (331) i t s own products ( i . e . self—consuming, s e l f — o b s e s s i v e ) . To Deane, the observable worlds as d e s c r i b e d by the ' I ' d i s c o u r s e s i n the nove l s are dream—like, e i t h e r e n g u l f e d i n or apart from the observed world. P u r s u i n g b r i e f l y the Nabokovian n a r c i s s i s m , the c r i t i c s t r e s s e s t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s w r i t i n g " s t r i k e s me as b e i n g a prolegomena [ s i c ] t o a f i c t i o n , r a t h e r than a f i c t i o n i t s e l f " (332). The constant foreshadowing and the d e f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n of n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e s make, t h e r e f o r e , f o r an uneasy read. Most n o t a b l e t o Deane i s the s e l f — r e f l e x i v e n a r r a t o r i n Birchwood, who t e l l s us a f t e r a long d e s c r i p t i o n , " T h i s i s how I remember such scenes. I f I p r o v i d e something otherwise than t h i s , be asss u r e d t h a t I am i n v e n t i n g " (qtd. Deane 333). With r e f e r e n c e t o s p e c i f i c images, Deane s e i z e s those of the " m i r r o r " and the "prism". These images are u n s e t t l i n g but t r u t h f u l v e h i c l e s of meaning, emerging more f o r c e f u l l y i n the t e t r a l o g y . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y Deane, h i m s e l f an acute p o l i t i c a l c r i t i c , c a t e g o r i z e s B a n v i l l e i n the o s t e n s i b l y a p o l i t i c a l , e x p e r i m e n t a l group of I r i s h w r i t e r s which i n c l u d e s Joyce, O'Brien, and B e c k e t t . But Deane would l i k e t o argue t h a t such d e v i a t i o n from obvious I r i s h p o l i t i c a l s u b j e c t matter i s merely a s i g n of p o l i t i c a l d i s i l l u s i o n and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the mores of I r i s h s o c i e t y . Nightspawn's Greek p o l i t i c a l i n t r i g u e i s thus p o s s i b l y an a l l e g o r y of I r e l a n d ' s simmering p o l i t i c a l scene. But the 6 analogy does not grasp f u l l y the central topic of Nightspawn: a writer's narcissism. Deane seems, however, to be right on target when he distinguishes the l i t e r a r y technique of Joyce's A P o r t r a i t  of the A r t i s t as a Young Man (1916) from Banville's Nightspawn and "The Possessed" [the long short story i n Long  Lankin]. Whereas Joyce's narrator never ceases to pass i r o n i c judgment on Stephen, Banville's narrator appears to make allowances for Ben's youthfulness. If indeed, as Deane claims, Nightspawn and "The Possessed" " f a i l , " i t i s because of t h i s lack of distance. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , B a n v i l l e removed "The Possessed" from the Gallery Press (1984) reissue of Long Lankin, and Nightspawn has never been reprinted. What Deane feels i s lacking in the f i r s t two books i s almost redeemed by Birchwood, in which "phantasmagoria has a l l the presence of a r e a l i t y " (337). To Deane and subsequent c r i t i c s , Birchwood i s so diverse and d i v e r t i n g that p o l i t i c a l and metaphysical readings are equally possible. Deane considers the achronological narrative to be i n d i c a t i v e of the nonlinear systems with which Banville's imagination seems to be infused. Timelessness and d i s l o c a t i o n s t r i k e Deane as Banville's main themes, but a s a t i s f y i n g t h e o r e t i c a l model to place the n o v e l i s t ' s work eludes the c r i t i c . Five years elapsed without any further s i g n i f i c a n t c r i t i c i s m on Banville, but i n 1981 there came an I r i s h  University Review special issue devoted to the author, 7 i n c l u d i n g an i n t e r v i e w , an e x t r a c t from The Newton L e t t e r , a t r a n s c r i p t of a t a l k g i v e n by B a n v i l l e at a w r i t e r ' s conference, and two academic a r t i c l e s w r i t t e n by Rudiger Imhof and F r a n c i s C. Mol l o y . Since Imhof has reworked h i s a r t i c l e i n t o h i s recent book, I w i l l l e a v e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of h i s views u n t i l the end of t h i s chapter. M o l l o y ' s a r t i c l e , "The Search f o r T r u t h : The F i c t i o n of John B a n v i l l e " (1981) , begins by arguing t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n i s a " t a b u l a t i o n " as d e f i n e d by Robert Scholes i n The F a b u l a t o r s (1967) . T h i s concept of t a b u l a t i o n i s another way of l o o k i n g at the a r t i s t i c and s e l f — c o n s c i o u s nature of B a n v i l l e ' s work. Molloy sees a movement from the t a b u l a t i o n of the f i r s t t h r e e books t o something more s u b s t a n t i v e , i n terms of ideas, i n Doctor Copernicus. T h i s b e l i e f l e a d s Molloy t o c o n s i d e r the work of the f i r s t f o u r books as e s s e n t i a l l y a search f o r t r u t h i n a world f u l l of d e r i v a t i o n s . Molloy s t r e s s e s t h a t B a n v i l l e i s an i n t e r n a t i o n a l w r i t e r , l o a t h t o take up I r i s h s u b j e c t matter. He a l s o b e l i e v e s the author's own pronouncements i n an u n t r a n s c r i b e d RTE broadcast i n t e r v i e w on 15 A p r i l 1976 t h a t a w r i t e r s h o u l d not be d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d i n s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s : "He has always been more i n t e r e s t e d i n form than content and has never b e l i e v e d t h a t f i c t i o n s h ould d e a l w i t h s o c i a l , domestic or p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s " ( 3 0 ) . Although Kepler, The Newton L e t t e r , and M e f i s t o had s t i l l t o come, Molloy undervalues the very p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l debates e v i d e n t i n Doctor Copernicus. 8 To Molloy, Ben White's r o l e i n "The Possessed" i s t o achieve l i b e r t y and freedom. T h i s p u r s u i t i s f o l l o w e d up i n Nightspawn, but Molloy i s h i g h l y c r i t i c a l of the e l a b o r a t e v e r b a l and i n t e r t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s which s t r i k e him as f o r c e d . He c o n s i d e r s v a l u a b l e , however, Ben White's se e k i n g of beauty and p e r f e c t love, l i k e Aschenbach i n Death i n V e n i c e . The c r i t i c c o u l d have s a i d t h a t the s e a r c h f o r beauty or elegance may be read as an a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c p a t t e r n necessary f o r c r e a t i v i t y . To my mind, Birchwood i s a more s u c c e s s f u l work, which seeks t o e s t a b l i s h some a b s o l u t e v a l u e s . At the very l e a s t , i t i s a novel t h a t s u c c e s s f u l l y poses the most p e r c e p t i v e q u e s t i o n s about the chaos of e x p e r i e n c e . In p a r t i c u l a r , Birchwood, as Molloy remarks, c o n s t a n t l y admits t o the inadequacy of memory. T h i s inadequacy t h e r e f o r e d e b i l i t a t e s any h i s t o r i c a l r e a d i n g of the t e x t , s i n c e " f a c t s " are o f t e n regarded as r e l a t i v e i n the hands of a f i r s t person n a r r a t o r . Molloy b r i n g s t o bear a comment made by the author i n the RTE i n t e r v i e w mentioned above: t h a t s c i e n c e today must employ the i m a g i n a t i o n of an a r t i s t t o be c o n v i n c i n g . Hence B a n v i l l e ' s i n t e r e s t i n major s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s who, he b e l i e v e s , worked with s p e c i f i c images i n mind. Mo l l o y i s happy t o move away from the f i r s t t h r e e books and applaud the h i s t o r i c a l homework which B a n v i l l e has o b v i o u s l y done i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r Doctor Copernicus because: U l t i m a t e l y , however, a n o v e l i s t w r i t i n g f i c t i o n s about w r i t i n g f i c t i o n i s t a k i n g h i s t a l e n t s up what has been c a l l e d a ' l i t e r a r y c u l — d e — s a c ' . There i s too much concern f o r technique, f o r the c r e a t i o n of s p e c i a l atmospheres and the c o n s t r u c t i o n of l i t e r a r y p a s t i c h e s . There i s not enough substance. B a n v i l l e has a p p a r e n t l y r e c o g n i z e d t h a t h i s t a l e n t s might be b e t t e r employed. In Doctor Copernicus he has embarked on a new l i t e r a r y venture, one t h a t promises to be most rewarding. (44—45) Molloy i s concerned to s t r e s s the c e n t r a l i t y of N i c o l a s Copernicus to the t e x t , t o see the f i c t i o n as a n o v e l of c h a r a c t e r with an h i s t o r i c a l framework, and the p l o t as merely the way B a n v i l l e s e t s up o p p o s i t i o n s or o b s t a c l e s i n f r o n t of the hero. Molloy seems most p e r c e p t i v e i n commenting t h a t Copernicus regards i n t u i t i o n as one way to glimpse the Truth, although to express t h i s concept i n words and i n w r i t i n g i s q u i t e another matter. Put another way, i n t u i t i o n (understood here i n B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y as a n o n l i n e a r , p r e — v e r b a l , dream—like v i s i o n ) , can only be h e l d i n the mind f o r a short p e r i o d , a f t e r which o n l y scraps of the e n t i r e t y of t h a t v i s i o n can be r e l a y e d t o the o u t s i d e world v i a speech and t e x t . Molloy sees Andreas, Copernicus' b r o t h e r , and R h e t i c u s , Copernicus' d i s c i p l e , as important f o i l s t o the astronomer's o v e r e x c i t e d mind i n t h i s p r o c e s s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the c r i t i c does not develop these n o t i o n s , nor does he suggest how they r e l a t e t o s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y . 10 Molloy regards Doctor Copernicus as a " l i m i t e d achievement" (50) because he agrees with a review by Seamus Deane (1977) that Copernicus i s not portrayed as a genius. 1 Molloy accepts that the introduction of d e t a i l e d t e c h n i c a l information would hold up the narrative, but he believes such an omission leads to a lack of explanation why Copernicus i s regarded as b r i l l i a n t . I agree, but one could say the same about the various portrayals of Jesus i n the New Testament. Another "weakness," to Molloy's mind, i s the overuse of i n t r a t e x t u a l and extratextual references, p a r t i c u l a r l y that of Wallace Stevens's "Notes on a Supreme F i c t i o n . " One can not help f e e l i n g that Molloy i s at home with a t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l novel. Consistent with t h i s view, Molloy says l i t t l e about the Rheticus section or narrative techniques as a whole in Doctor Copernicus. Molloy's l i k e s and d i s l i k e s of Banville's imagery—he finds the use of "blue" a cliche——are unargued. However, Molloy has r i g h t l y , i n my view, established that Banville's work l i e s neither i n the avant-garde camp of postmodernism nor in the camp of t r a d i t i o n a l r e a l i s t aesthetics. This view i s supported by Banville's own writings on the subject and by his reviews of contemporary novels for the I r i s h journal Hibernia. In a t a l k delivered to the International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa City i n December 1980, Banville remarked: Modernism has run i t s course. So, also, for that matter, has post-modernism. I b e l i e v e , at l e a s t I hope, t h a t we are on the t h r e s h o l d of a new ism, a new s y n t h e s i s . What w i l l i t be? I do not know. But I hope i t w i l l be an a r t which i s honest enough t o d e s p a i r and yet go on; r i g o r o u s and c o n t r o l l e d , c o o l and yet p a s s i o n a t e , without d e l u s i o n s , aware of i t s own p o s s i b i l i t i e s and i t s own l i m i t s ; an a r t which knows t h a t t r u t h i s a r b i t r a r y , t h a t r e a l i t y i s m u l t i f a r i o u s , t h a t language i s not a c l e a r l e n s . ("A T a l k " 17) In a review of John S t u r r o c k ' s Paper T i g e r s : The I d e a l F i c t i o n s of Jorge L u i s Borges, B a n v i l l e wrote: The g r e a t works of modernism and neo—modernism are p r e c i s e l y those i n which c l a s s i c i s m masquerades as romanticism. . . . I would not dream of arguing f o r c o n f e s s i o n a l , " r e a l i s t " w r i t i n g a g a i n s t the p u r e l y l i t e r a r y , but the g r e a t f a i l u r e of the nouveau roman i s t h a t i t i s unable t o to d e a l adequately, i n a way t h a t measures up t o d a i l y experience, with o r d i n a r y t h i n g s , while yet, a l s o , i t excludes i d e a s . ("Enigma V a r i a t i o n s " 22) The s c i e n t i f i c endeavour mediated i n B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n l i e s somewhere between postmodernism and modernism (degrees of experiment) and r e a l i s m (degrees of e x p e r i e n c e ) . Since B a n v i l l e ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s s t r u g g l e with f i n d i n g threads between th e o r y and experience, i t i s f i t t i n g t h a t the f i c t i o n a l t echniques r e f l e c t t h i s unease, and do not s e t t l e i n t o any one a e s t h e t i c . What i s m i s s i n g i n M o l l o y ' s work i s such a t h e o r e t i c a l framework t o account f o r the p e r i o d i c n a r r a t i v e experiments i n Doctor Copernicus which approximate p e r i o d i c s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y . The appearance of the IUR s p e c i a l i s s u e , which I b e l i e v e was premature, seemed to prevent f u r t h e r c r i t i c a l 12 comment u n t i l B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y was complete. The f i r s t t r u l y p r o v o c a t i v e overview of the t e t r a l o g y i s t h a t by David McCormack (1987) i n a review a r t i c l e on M e f i s t o . McCormack s t r e s s e s the d e s p a i r of B a n v i l l e ' s w r i t i n g . L i t e r a r y d e s p a i r i s r e v e a l e d by the s e l f — c o n s c i o u s w r i t i n g ; p h i l o s o p h i c a l d e s p a i r i s r e v e a l e d by the cr e v a s s e between word and t h i n g . McCormack mentions the c o n f l i c t i n g p o l e s of C a r t e s i a n dualism and W i t t g e n s t e i n i a n d e s p a i r . The l a t t e r wins out because B a n v i l l e ' s work argues t h a t s c i e n c e i s a f i c t i o n making process t o "save the phenomena." McCormack does admit, however, t h a t with The Newton L e t t e r the W i t t g e n s t e i n i a n d e s p a i r i s not present as i t i s i n Doctor  Copernicus and K e p l e r . In f a c t , the n a r r a t o r i n t h a t n o v e l l a i s ab l e t o progress with hope, though a c a u t i o u s and q u e s t i o n i n g one. T h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l approach by McCormack i s l i m i t i n g t o the extent t h a t i t s i d e l i n e s a debate about s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y and i t s resemblance t o a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y . M e f i s t o i s viewed by McCormack as an amalgam of themes pre s e n t i n the p r e v i o u s works: the inadequacy o f memory, a r c h e t y p a l f i g u r e s , and the f a s c i n a t i o n with symmetries and asymmetries. McCormack sees the mathematical emphasis as G a b r i e l ' s way of denying human expe r i e n c e . The n o v e l , f o r t h i s c r i t i c , r e l a t e s i t s t o r t u r e d t a l e by rec o u r s e t o a number of o p p o s i t i o n s : presence/absence, order/chaos, word/thing. A c l o s e t d e c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t , McCormack e x p l a i n s the asymmetry of M e f i s t o as intended 13 to ensure that the reader i s not allowed to forget that f i c t i o n i s a form of c r i t i c i s m as well as an imagined world. McCormack's point that Mefisto i s a nonlinear system i s an excellent one, but remains undeveloped or proven by example. Molloy and McCormack eschew dealing with the " s c i e n t i f i c content" of the tetralogy. This attitude i s rejected by Dorinda Outram's essay, "Banville, Science and R e l i g i o n : Heavenly Bodies and Logical Minds" (1988) Outram i s the f i r s t to pose the obvious question: why i s Banville's work, apart from Ronan Sheehan's short story, "The Boy with An Injured Eye" (1983), unique i n contemporary I r i s h writing i n addressing a s c i e n t i f i c vocation as subject matter? Outram believes Banville i s attracted to t h i s s c i e n t i f i c subject because i t promotes "personal autonomy," as Outram believes that personal autonomy i s necessary for science to prosper. For Outram, the most i n t e r e s t i n g text so far i s The Newton Letter because the narrator does not improve his a b i l i t y to have a clear "gaze" of the observable world by the end of the f i c t i o n . No maturation has occurred ( i t might be argued each text reveals t h i s tendency). Rather, Banville's f i c t i o n s explore the l i m i t s of s u b j e c t i v i t y i n a purportedly r a t i o n a l world. Perhaps of more general substance i s Outram's b e l i e f that Ireland's f a i l u r e to modernize i n the twentieth century i s due i n part to the attitude taken by society and i n s t i t u t i o n s towards the role of science. With science understood as r a t i o n a l and objective and yet with the power 14 t o confound r e l i g i o n , i t i s c u r i o u s t h a t l i t t l e work has been w r i t t e n on the i n t e r f a c e ( i f i t e x i s t s ) between the two i n I r e l a n d . Outram e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l autonomy has o f t e n been a s s o c i a t e d with s c i e n c e , but i n I r e l a n d the n i n e t e e n t h century advances of (mainly P r o t e s t a n t ) s c i e n t i s t s , such as mathematician W i l l i a m Rowan Hamilton, were h a l t e d t h i s century simply because the I r i s h Free S t a t e was u n w i l l i n g t o i n v e s t i n the c o s t l y equipment modern s c i e n c e demands. Outram r a i s e s the i s s u e t h a t the n a t i o n a l i s t cause c o u l d not stomach c r i t i c i s m of the Roman C a t h o l i c Church, and s c i e n c e t h r e a t e n e d t o do j u s t t h a t . E s s e n t i a l l y , s c i e n c e was a P r o t e s t a n t , A s c e n d a n c y — i n f l u e n c e d p u r s u i t . I t d i d not conform t o what Outram c a l l s the " n a t i o n a l h e r i t a g e . " As she c o n t i n u e s : t h a t n a t i o n a l h e r i t a g e was a l r e a d y one co n c e i v e d i n terms of fundamental b i n a r y p a i r s o f o p p o s i t e s : as r e p u b l i c a n , not monarchist; as c o n s e r v a t i v e and t h e r e f o r e not modernising; as c u l t u r a l l y m o n o l i t h i c , opposed t o the p l u r a l i s t c u l t u r e s of the r e s t of the West; and through a combination of a l l these f a c t o r s , based on h i s t o r y , f o l k l o r e and l i t e r a t u r e , r a t h e r than on s c i e n c e . . . . (10—11) U l t i m a t e l y , the s t a t e v a l i d a t e d romanticism over r e a l i s m . In the absence of (1) a f u l l y endorsed s t a t e p o l i c y and (2) a Roman C a t h o l i c Church document g i v i n g approval, s c i e n c e remains i n I r e l a n d , even today, a p e r i p h e r a l a c t i v i t y . Outram b e l i e v e s t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s works are a c o n c e r t e d attempt t o c a s t i n doubt the m o n o l i t h i c n a t i o n a l i s t c u l t u r e . 15 He has s e t up, i n Outram's words, "a c o u n t e r — n o v e l , a counter—mythology" (11) which v a l o r i z e s i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i v i t y and autonomy. Other w r i t e r s , l i k e Joyce and Beckett, have e q u a l l y c o n c e n t r a t e d on i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i v i t y , but without the s c i e n t i f i c emphasis ( d e s p i t e Joyce's a b o r t e d medical t r a i n i n g ) . Outram's essay ends wit h the thought t h a t because I r e l a n d has not f u l l y accepted the i d e a s of the Enlightenment, s t r e t c h i n g back t o the 18th century, i t can h a r d l y expect i t s populace t o embrace a m o d e r n i z a t i o n programme. That i s to say, no c u l t u r a l p r e p a r a t i o n has been made f o r s o c i e t a l change. P a r t of t h i s c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y would c e r t a i n l y i n c l u d e B a n v i l l e ' s a n a l y s i s of the s c i e n t i f i c p u r s u i t as w e l l as a reassessment of s c i e n c e and p u b l i c and r e l i g i o u s p o l i c y . Outram's essay i s b r i e f but p r o v o c a t i v e . I t s t h e s i s has more t o say a b o u t • s o c i o l o g y than l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . However, i t i s arguable t h a t between l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e , we must have a s o c i o l o g y . As Wolf Lepenies (1988) has w r i t t e n : The problem of s o c i o l o g y i s t h a t , although i t may i m i t a t e the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s , i t can never become a t r u e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e of s o c i e t y , but i f i t abandons i t s s c i e n t i f i c o r i e n t a t i o n i t draws p e r i l o u s l y c l o s e to l i t e r a t u r e . S o c i o l o g y ' s p r e c a r i o u s s i t u a t i o n as a k i n d of ' t h i r d c u l t u r e ' between the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s on the one hand and l i t e r a t u r e and the humanities on the other was exacerbated by the f a c t t h a t the i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s of the Enlightenment and the Counter—Enlightenment s t r u g g l e d with one another over i t s d e s t i n y . (7) 16 B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y can then be seen on one l e v e l as a f i c t i o n a l s o c i o l o g y . T h i s view seems to me t o be a n a t u r a l e x t e n s i o n of Outram's t h e s i s . Outram's n o t i o n of a "counter mythology" i s expanded by R i c h a r d Kearney i n h i s book T r a n s i t i o n s : N a r r a t i v e s i n  Modern I r i s h C u l t u r e (1988). One of h i s chapters, "A C r i s i s of F i c t i o n , " attempts to g i v e a t h e o r e t i c a l u n d e r p i n n i n g t o the "modernism" of Flann O'Brien, F r a n c i s S t u a r t , and John B a n v i l l e . A c c o r d i n g to Kearney, these w r i t e r s b e l i e v e t h a t Joyce and Beckett have transformed the n o v e l from quest n a r r a t i v e s t o s e l f — q u e s t i o n i n g n a r r a t i v e s . I t f o l l o w s , then, t h a t i t i s no longer p o s s i b l e t o be s a t i s f i e d with " c o n v e n t i o n a l r e a l i s t " f i c t i o n . One must experiment. Kearney f i n d s i t s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t at the b e g i n n i n g and end of Birchwood, the n a r r a t o r r e f e r s t o Descartes and W i t t g e n s t e i n , masters of reasoned doubt. These p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n f l u e n c e s h e l p B a n v i l l e , among other t h i n g s , t o d e c o n s t r u c t the orthodoxies of the B i g House n o v e l . Kearney b e l i e v e s t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s s w i t c h t o European medievalism i s an e f f o r t t o d e a l with what the c r i t i c r egards as the modernist " c r i s i s of i m a g i n a t i o n " (93) i n d e c i d i n g between " h i s t o r y " and " f a c t . " But t h i s medievalism, i n f a c t , may push us i n t o a very l o c a l i z e d c u l t u r e of competing s t a t e l e t s , somewhat s i m i l a r t o I r e l a n d . I d i s c u s s t h i s p a r a l l e l i n my f i n a l c hapter. 17 To Kearney, Doctor Copernicus e x e m p l i f i e s t h a t s c i e n t i f i c knowledge r e l i e s on c r e a t i v e l e a p s of f a i t h not u n l i k e those of the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t : "In s h o r t , s c i e n c e cannot reach towards the t r u t h of r e a l i t y except through the p r i s m of a r t " (94). K e p l e r i s viewed, with a l l i t s fragmented n a r r a t i v e experiments, as a t e x t which conveys the extreme u n c e r t a i n t i e s and excitement of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y . T h i s emphasis on " d r e a m — i n t u i t i o n " as p a r t and p a r c e l of the s c i e n t i f i c process i s Kearney's main " s c i e n t i f i c " comment about t h i s second work. The Newton  L e t t e r a t t r a c t s Kearney i n p a r t i c u l a r because i t " i n t e r r o g a t e s the very nature of s t o r y — t e l l i n g i n the double sense of the n a r r a t i v e form of the w r i t i n g and the i m a g i n a t i v e powers of the w r i t e r " (96). More simply, the i d e a of having a f i r s t person n a r r a t o r who i s a l s o a w r i t e r confuses the ( t r a d i t i o n a l ) d i s t a n c e s between and among the i m p l i e d author, the n a r r a t o r , the c h a r a c t e r , and the s u b j e c t . Kearney repeats Deane's comment on the e a r l y n o v e l s t h a t the t e x t i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y w r i t t e n i n the p a s t tense t o emphasize n a r r a t i v e incoherence. As Kearney expounds: The b e g i n n i n g of the novel thus bespeaks the ending; and the e n t i r e i n t e r v e n i n g n a r [ r ] a t i v e i s w r i t t e n r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y i n the past tense; t h a t i s , i n the form of a reminiscence which would e x p l a i n the n a r r a t o r ' s own f a i l e d quest f o r n a r r a t i v e coherence. (97) 18 This incoherence i s related to the "Interlude" referred to i n the book's s u b t i t l e and resonates outward to Newton's own period of breakdown in 1693. Mefisto s t r i k e s Kearney as another text which seeks to explode the long held "accredited d i s t i n c t i o n between s c i e n t i f i c fact and poetic invention" (100) . Kearney combines Banv i l l e with N e i l Jordan and Aidan Higgins, writers who accept that there i s a very r e a l " c r i s i s of narrative" (99). As a c o r o l l a r y to t h i s , these c r i t i c a l counter—tradition n o v e l i s t s have purposely avoided dir e c t confrontation with any sense of a national I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e . As the c r i t i c remarks: It has been l e f t therefore to those i n the mainstream t r a d i t i o n of r e a l i s t I r i s h f i c t i o n — i n p a r t i c u l a r O'Faolain, Kiely, McGahern, McLaverty and P l u n k e t t — t o provide narratives of contemporary Ireland's s o c i a l h i s t o r y . (100) What Kearney means i s that a post—Joycean synthesis i n contemporary I r i s h f i c t i o n has s t i l l to a r r i v e , something which w i l l go beyond the " c r i t i c a l " work of Ba n v i l l e and the " r e a l i s t " work of O'Faolain. I am surprised at Kearney's categorization of Banville completely i n t h i s a n t i — r e a l i s t camp, since the tetralogy, to my mind, does attempt to bridge the gap between r e a l i s t and avant-garde pyrotechnics. Although Kearney sees the general conjoining of l i t e r a t u r e and science, he i s reluctant to view t h i s kind of f i c t i o n as unique. What appears to Kearney as a c r i s i s of narrative 19 may merely be the r e s u l t of h i s i n a b i l i t y t o see unusual n a r r a t i v e forms complementing an unusual s u b j e c t : s c i e n c e . I f such s y n c r e t i c c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g has taken r o o t , then c e r t a i n l y s y n c r e t i c c r i t i c i s m has not. Joseph McMinn i s c u r r e n t l y w r i t i n g a book on B a n v i l l e . He has p u b l i s h e d two a r t i c l e s a l r e a d y t h a t r e v e a l h i s d e s i r e t o s i t u a t e the t e t r a l o g y and e a r l i e r works i n a d e c i d e d l y l i t e r a r y and I r i s h c o n t e x t . The f i r s t a r t i c l e , "An E x a l t e d Naming: The P o e t i c a l F i c t i o n s of John B a n v i l l e " (1988), argues t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n d e r i v e s i t s f o r c e from i t s p o e t i c d e s i g n . Although the f i c t i o n s appear t o p r i v i l e g e modernist techniques, McMinn b e l i e v e s t h a t an i n h e r e n t Romantic s e n s i b i l i t y r u l e s the s k e p t i c i s m which i s so o v e r t . McMinn focusses on c e r t a i n themes: the n a r r a t o r s ' attempts t o impose order on a h i g h l y d i s r u p t i v e p a s t ; the c o n f r o n t a t i o n s with the r e a l , everyday world which c o n t r a d i c t or q u e s t i o n i n t e l l e c t u a l contemplation; and the inadequacy of language systems t o e x p l a i n phenomena. McMinn f u r t h e r emphasizes the importance of R i l k e ' s " s i l e n c e " as a pathway towards those very r e a l and unspeakable e n t i t i e s which so f a s c i n a t e and f r u s t r a t e B a n v i l l e ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s . A c c o r d i n g t o McMinn, B a n v i l l e ' s heroes are " t r i c k e d out of p e r c e p t i o n by knowledge" (22). T h i s c r i t i c i s m i s a r e p e t i t i o n of Kearney's p o i n t about the importance of dream-i n t u i t i o n . By arguing t h a t the astronomers are a k i n t o 'Faustus and F r a n k e n s t e i n , McMinn d e s i r e s t o e s t a b l i s h the Romantic s t r a i n i n B a n v i l l e ' s o v e r a l l conception, so t h a t he 20 can say the f i c t i o n s are "a form of c r e a t i v e compensation" ) (23). McMinn s t r e s s e s the importance of R i l k e and Stevens as i n f l u e n c e s , and i n so doing almost t o t a l l y i g n o r e s the s c i e n t i f i c content of the t e t r a l o g y . McMinn's second a r t i c l e , " S t e r e o t y p i c a l Images of I r e l a n d i n John B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n " (1988) develops the argument t h a t the B i g House, the I r i s h " g i f t of the gab," parody, and l i t e r a r y c l i c h e ' are i n t e g r a l t o B a n v i l l e ' s r e v i s i o n i s t p r o j e c t . Oddly, McMinn sees, where Deane and Kearney c o u l d not, s p e c i f i c I r i s h n e s s i n B a n v i l l e ' s images of the hungry peasantry, the wealthy and i d l e ascendancy, and the " i r r a t i o n a l savagery of I r i s h p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y " (95). Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , McMinn f i n d s g r i s t t o h i s m i l l i n Birchwood and The Newton L e t t e r . The other t h r e e t e x t s of the t e t r a l o g y are impenetrable t o such a " r e a l i s t i c " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . McMinn i n d i r e c t l y admits t h i s l i m i t a t i o n when he c r i t i c i z e s M e f i s t o as " d i s a p p o i n t i n g " and " s t u d i e d " (100). To McMinn, the novel f a i l s because i t "le a v e s no room f o r those redemptive moments of p e r c e p t i o n and joy which occur i n B a n v i l l e ' s best work" (101). When the c r i t i c b egins t o doubt the scheme t h a t B a n v i l l e has c o n s t r u c t e d i n M e f i s t o — " I t i s a l s o d i f f i c u l t t o see why he [ G a b r i e l ] needs t o be c a s t i n the r o l e of mathematical p r o d i g y " ( 1 0 1 ) —the reader of the a r t i c l e wonders i f McMinn's s t a r t i n g p o s i t i o n i s w e l l chosen. T h i s i s a l l the more s u r p r i s i n g s i n c e McMinn sees the e s s e n t i a l a e s t h e t i c of the t e t r a l o g y very c l e a r l y : "Science cannot reproduce r e a l i t y , only dream 21 v e r s i o n s of i t . The same i s t r u e of l i t e r a t u r e and a r t . " (98) Why McMinn chooses not t o ex p l o r e t h i s obvious area i s a mystery. He ends h i s a r t i c l e emphasizing the i n f l u e n c e of Beckett and the b e l i e f t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s I r i s h s c a f f o l d i n g enables him t o "ascend" t o be a European w r i t e r . George O'Brien's recent a r t i c l e , "John B a n v i l l e : P o r t r a i t s o f the A r t i s t " (1989) i s a wide—ranging d i s c u s s i o n of a l l B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l s . L i k e Imhof d i s c u s s e d below, O'Brien would l i k e t o see the novels connected through t h e i r i n t r a t e x t u a l and e x t r a t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s . Nonetheless, the c r i t i c s i d e s with McMinn and Deane when he s t a t e s 0 c a t e g o r i c a l l y : B a n v i l l e ' s genre i s the romance, the t e x t o f jo u r n e y i n g t o other worlds, t o the world of the other; the t e x t of d e s i r e , where the i d e a l c a l l e d harmony i s implored t o r e a l i z e i t s e l f ; the t e x t of the s p i r i t ' s ardor and of the h e a r t ' s v a g a r i e s . (162) T h i s a s s e r t i o n i s f i n e i n ge n e r a l terms, but r e l i e s upon the premise t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s are a r t i s t s p u r e l y . O'Brien avoids c o n s i d e r a t i o n df the c h o i c e of s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s . He p o i n t s out, as others have done, the s t r o n g Joycean p a r a l l e l s i n the opening of Doctor Copernicus, yet he i s unable t o d e c l a r e t h a t the e a r l y s e c t i o n s of the f i c t i o n comprise "A P o r t r a i t of a S c i e n t i s t as a Young Man." O'Brien c l e a r l y b r i n g s out some of the i r o n i e s o f the t e t r a l o g y , although he underplays the s c i e n t i f i c r a m i f i c a t i o n s of h i s words: 22 The magnitude of both [Copernicus and Kepler] these path—breakers' accomplishment i s premised upon a good d e a l t h a t has subsequently been proved wrong. Yet t h e i r i n c o r r e c t n e s s i s f o r B a n v i l l e perhaps more i l l u m i n a t i n g than t h e i r i n c o n t r o v e r t i b i l i t y , because i n i t l i e s the necessary f i c t i o n of a l l t h e o r y . Were i t not f o r the flaws t h e r e would be no t h e o r y : were i t not f o r the f i c t i o n t h a t t h e r e were no flaws t h e r e would be no t h e o r y . (169) T h i s paradox i s an e x c e l l e n t p o i n t , but i t needs more a t t e n t i o n . What O'Brien should say i s t h a t no new t h e o r y can e x i s t without awareness of flaws or anomalies. Without a p p l y i n g t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n to the s c i e n t i f i c content of the t e t r a l o g y , O'Brien underdetermines h i s t h e s i s . Whereas O'Brien f i n d s B a n v i l l e ' s work "too modishly i n d e b t e d to a n t i r e a l i s t s " (172), and whereas McMinn f i n d s an uneasy o s c i l l a t i o n between I r i s h n e s s and Europeanness, these very f e a t u r e s have s t i m u l a t e d the w r i t e r of the f i r s t book devoted t o the author. Rudiger Imhof's recent c r i t i c a l i n t r o d u c t i o n t o B a n v i l l e (1989) combines new i d e a s w i t h m a t e r i a l p u b l i s h e d elsewhere i n the l a s t decade. ^ The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n may appear o v e r l o n g on t h i s one c r i t i c ; however, s i n c e Imhof's views are from the l i t e r a r y mainstream, he deserves a f u l l assessment. Imhof has l i t t l e time f o r the bulk of contemporary I r i s h f i c t i o n , which, to him conforms t o the d e b i l i t a t i n g "mould of cosy r e a l i s m " (7). He b e l i e v e s t h a t such preponderance of r e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c s was due t o the need t o c o n s t r u c t and then to c o n s o l i d a t e a n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . 23 Remarkably, Imhof b e l i e v e s t h a t t h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n i s now complete. He thus f i n d s i t strange t h a t o n l y a few I r i s h w r i t e r s , l i k e John B a n v i l l e , have sought t o e x p l o r e the v a r i o u s p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the novel form with r e g a r d t o non-I r i s h s u b j e c t matter and l i t e r a r y indebtedness. L i n e a r , s e q u e n t i a l n a r r a t i v e i s I m h o f s beVe n o i r e . He has c h a s t i s e d the f i c t i o n of J e n n i f e r Johnston, f o r example, and t a l k s of the " c o m p o s i t i o n a l d i s a s t e r " of John McGahern's The  L e a v e t a k i n g . ^ Imhof i s fond of the s c a t h i n g tone i n d e a l i n g with w r i t e r s of " l i m i t e d " adventure; he i s impatient with c r i t i c s as w e l l . Augustine M a r t i n ' s The Genius of  I r i s h Prose (1984) i s d i s m i s s e d as " u n r e l i a b l e and unrewarding" (9), not to mention i t s s i n s of o mission; and i f R i c h a r d Kearney t h i n k s B a n v i l l e and S t u a r t come from an I r i s h t r a d i t i o n , "he i s of course wrong" (9). Imhof i s r e f e r r i n g here t o Kearney's chapter i n T r a n s i t i o n s (1988) a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d above. Imhof f u l l y b e l i e v e s t h a t the i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y so e v i d e n t i n B a n v i l l e ' s work i s not a "weakening f e a t u r e " as Deane a s s e r t s (1977 121), but an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the l i t e r a r y p r o j e c t . Imhof s t e e r s c l e a r of the murky p o o l of postmodernist t h e o r i z i n g , as swum by Ihab Hassan and o t h e r s , i n favour of s e e i n g B a n v i l l e simply as a post—Joycean/ B e c k e t t i a n modernist. These "negative" comments leave us, t h e r e f o r e , with a s h i f t i n g sense of B a n v i l l e ' s work. To Imhof, B a n v i l l e i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y r e s i s t a n t t o 24 c a t e g o r i z a t i o n , except i n s o f a r as he chooses a path away from r e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c s . Imhof's f i r s t chapter, "A P r i n c i p i a of S o r t s : R e f l e c t i o n s on A r t and the Novel," argues t h a t B a n v i l l e has been i n f l u e n c e d by Henry James with r e g a r d t o a n o v e l ' s d e s i g n or shape. Imhof b e l i e v e s B a n v i l l e ' s t h e o r e t i c a l statements, some of which I have a l r e a d y c o n s i d e r e d , c o n c e n t r a t e on the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s of s t y l e i n the l a t e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . T h i s c h o i c e appears t o be i n B a n v i l l e ' s case (and words) a mode of d i s c o u r s e which takes the p o s i t i o n t h a t a l l " a r t i s a c t i o n " (16). B a n v i l l e i s quoted as s a y i n g t h a t novels are about l i f e and, t h e r e f o r e , they t e a c h us c e r t a i n t h i n g s . T h i s i s what i s meant by a c t i o n . To Imhof, B a n v i l l e ' s a r t i s , r a t h e r , " f i r s t and foremost about form" (17). In e f f e c t , t h i s i s a way of p r o p o s i n g t h a t b i o g r a p h i c a l c r i t i c i s m of B a n v i l l e ' s work i s unrewarding. Echoing McCormack, Imhof s t r e s s e s the "never-ending process of f a i l u r e " and the "redemptive d e s p a i r " (18), both of which are r e a d i l y apparent i n the I r i s h w r i t e r ' s f i c t i o n . For the most p a r t , Imhof's seventeen pages on Long  Lankin c o n t a i n a m e r c i l e s s c r i t i q u e of the weaknesses of B a n v i l l e ' s f i r s t book. I t i s not c l e a r f o r what purpose such r i g o r o u s examination i s w r i t t e n . Long Lankin i s v a r i o u s l y d e s c r i b e d as " d i s a p p o i n t i n g " (30), " g l i b " and " s e r i o u s l y flawed" (31), " f e c k l e s s " (32), and o v e r a l l a " d i s a s t e r " (35). I do not f i n d these terms t h e o r e t i c a l l y 25 a c c e p t a b l e . What i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n I m h o f s a n a l y s i s of the book i s the apparent r e l i a n c e by B a n v i l l e on c e r t a i n myths t h a t one can e x t r a c t from F r a z e r ' s The Golden Bough. Imhof c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t the Long Lankin or l e p e r / i n t e r l o p e r myth does not run s u c c e s s f u l l y throughout, but i t puts i n t o sharp r e l i e f o ther myths, such as the ceremony of " c a r r y i n g out Death" t o ensure p r o s p e r i t y , which i s e v i d e n t i n the middle s e c t i o n of the n o v e l l a "The Possessed." Such myth-making and demythologizing occur f r e q u e n t l y i n B a n v i l l e ' s oeuvre. Imhof i s only s l i g h t l y more s a t i s f i e d w i t h Nightspawn. Undeniably, the novel l a y s bare i t s d e v i c e s and, as the c r i t i c puts i t , "Nightspawn was conceived of. as a m e t a f i c t i o n a l a t t a c k on the n i n e t e e n t h century conventions of f i c t i o n " (40). The i n f l u e n c e s of Godwin, E l i o t , Dostoyesvky, and the t h r i l l e r genre s t r i k e Imhof as major. S u r p r i s i n g l y , the c r i t i c does not mention Thomas Pynchon and The C r y i n g of Lot 49 (1966) i n p a r t i c u l a r , when he observes t h a t the main c h a r a c t e r , Ben White, " i s f o r c e d i n t o the r o l e of a s t u p i d i g n o r a n t pawn i n a f a r c i c a l game 'where nobody t r u s t s anybody'(N 83). The reader's p o s i t i o n i s l i t t l e b e t t e r " (43). Imhof sees the intended " p r a c t i c a l joke" nature of the n o v e l , i t s p a r o d i e s , i t s s t y l i s t i c resemblance t o Sterne's T r i s t r a m Shandy, i t s emphasis on process over p r o d u c t . F i n a l l y , Imhof b e l i e v e s the " g o d f a t h e r s " (52), Beckett and Nabokov, choke the novel's v i t a l i t y . I r o n i c a l l y , though, Nightspawn's l i t e r a r i n e s s seems t o be 26 the s t r o n g e s t support of Imhof s g e n e r a l t h e s i s on i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y . Birchwood i s a f a r more complex achievement w i t h which t o g r a p p l e . To Imhof, those readers who see i t as a B i g House n o v e l or simply t h a t of I r e l a n d i n chaos are "misguided" (53) . E q u a l l y , G a b r i e l Godkin's quest i s not f o r knowledge per se but f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of memory i n w r i t t e n form. In t h i s sense, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Imhof promotes the i n f l u e n c e of Proust, a l b e i t G a b r i e l ' s c o n s c i o u s and v o l u n t a r y memory d i s c o u r s e as d i s t i n c t from Marcel's i n v o l u n t a r y one. The whole i s s u e of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , source and i n f l u e n c e study, o b v i o u s l y f a s c i n a t e s Imhof. He f i n d s i t important to mention Dante, Desca r t e s , Edgeworth, E l i o t , Goethe, and Sheridan Le Fanu. He sees these w r i t e r s ' works h e l p i n g B a n v i l l e or G a b r i e l Godkin to foreground the a r t of f i c t i o n i z i n g and t o p e r p l e x the r e a d e r . Less o b f u s c a t i n g and d i f f u s e i s Imhof's s t r e s s i n g t h a t Birchwood conveys the importance of being s a t i s f i e d with r a r e moments of c l a r i t y i n a world of chaos. The l a t t e r i s adumbrated by the p a r o d i c use of c e r t a i n genres and d e v i c e s : the B i g House genre, the p i c a r e s q u e novel, the G o t h i c n o v e l , the Doppelganger motif, the d e t e c t i v e novel, and the Bildungsroman (or Entwicklungsroman, as Imhof p r e f e r s ) . Such p a r o d i e s convey chaos by the simple f a c t of t h e i r d i s o r i e n t a t i n g e f f e c t s on the reader. Imhof seems t o d i v o r c e parody from s p e c i f i c genres. In other words, he 27 r e c o g n i z e s the parody of the B i g House genre, but does not seem i n c l i n e d t o grant parody s t a t u s as a form o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of any genre. Again, as he i s on d i s c u s s i n g Nightspawn, Imhof i s aware of achrony or a c h r o n o l o g i c a l n a r r a t i v e , but he does not f i t t h i s i n t o any g e n e r a l m e t a f i c t i o n a l framework, although he may have f e l t t h i s i s too obvious a p o i n t . Yet when Imhof s t a t e s b o l d l y t h a t Birchwood " i s , i n the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , about the l i t e r a r y , or a r t i s t i c , i m a g i n a t i o n and about how the a r t i s t i c i m a g i n a t i o n t r i e s t o come t o g r i p s with the world, l i f e and t r u t h " (72), we s u r e l y wonder, i s t h i s not what every n o v e l i s about? Imhof a s s e r t s t h a t i n Doctor Copernicus two major themes are the inadequacy of language t o express r e a l i t y and the p u r s u i t of the Kantian " t h i n g — i n — i t s e l f . " Only t h i r d l y i s the novel about the astronomer and h i s l i f e and times. From t h i s vantage p o i n t , h i s t o r i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n i s i n s e r t e d merely " i n order t o draw a p i c t u r e of the gre a t astronomer as a sourpuss and a r e c l u s e " (74). Imhof does not concede t h a t the h i s t o r i c a l t r a c i n g s i t u a t e s the paradigm changes at work. Imhof i s sure t h a t Doctor Copernicus i s a "novel of i d e a s " but onl y a f t e r the f i r s t two themes mentioned above have been e l a b o r a t e d upon. Yet s u r e l y the no v e l i s deeply concerned with the quest of s u b s t a n t i a t i n g or v e r i f y i n g i n t u i t i v e i d e a s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n t o s c i e n c e . On the l i n g u i s t i c i s s u e , Imhof b r i n g s out the astronomer's awareness t h a t language l i m i t s our world, d e t e r m i n i n g our r e a l i t y . To Imhof's mind, t h i s p e r c e p t i o n 28 can be found i n the work of p h i l o s o p h e r s Ludwig W i t t g e n s t e i n and F r i t z Mauthner ( v i a Gershon W e i l e r 1970), language t h e o r i s t Benjamin Whorf, and s o c i a l t h e o r i s t John Locke, a l l of whom c o n s i d e r our world c i r c u m s c r i b e d by language a c q u i s i t i o n . For example, F r i t z Mauthner argues, a c c o r d i n g t o Imhof, t h a t only by b r e a k i n g the c i r c l e of our language can we get at the r e a l world. But s i n c e t h i s a c t i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e , we are i n a permanent s t a t e of l o s s or entropy. C e r t a i n l y , the astronomer's attachment to the l i n d e n t r e e as sense impression f i r s t and then as a l a b e l or word bears t h i s out. A Catch—22 s i t u a t i o n looms: i f we are t o approximate r e a l i t y , then we must embrace s i l e n c e , s i n c e i t i s the most "honest" way of d e a l i n g with inadequacy. S i l e n c e a l s o r e v e r b e r a t e s with p u r i t y of i n t u i t i o n , an i d e a which Imhof does not develop. Rather, Imhof h i g h l i g h t s "Mauthner's n o t i o n of the g a i e t y of r e s i g n a t i o n and r e n u n c i a t i o n [which] possesses a s t r i k i n g p e r t i n e n c y f o r B a n v i l l e ' s ' l i f e ' of Koppernigk" (76). Copernicus r e a l i z e s the world i s c h a o t i c ; n e v e r t h e l e s s , he seeks order and harmony, i n Imhof's view, by c r e a t i n g a supreme f i c t i o n . Imhof does not c l e a r l y e s t a b l i s h t h a t t h i s i s a l a t e r e c o g n i t i o n on the p a r t of Copernicus. Whereas K e p l e r lauds geometry and G a b r i e l Swan mathematics, Copernicus seeks merely an o v e r a l l conception of a new s c i e n c e . T h i s l a c k of focus on a methodology i n Copernicus' way of working makes Imhof s job of u n i f y i n g the t e t r a l o g y 29 very d i f f i c u l t . T h i s unevenness i s p a r t l y caused by I m h o f s tendency t o see t r e e s i n K e p l e r and M e f i s t o and o n l y a wood i n Doctor Copernicus (geometrical and mathematical d e t a i l s are c l e a r e r i n K e p l e r and M e f i s t o than i n Doctor  C o p e r n i c u s ) . What might have helped the c r i t i c out of t h i s impasse was some c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the o v e r a l l e f f e c t of s h i f t i n g paradigms i n the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s e r a . Imhof i s f a s c i n a t e d by the i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y of Doctor  Copernicus, p a r t i c u l a r l y the " a n a c h r o n i s t i c q u o t a t i o n s from Kierkegaard, E i n s t e i n , Eddington, Planck and Wallace Stevens" (81). These l i n e s e x t r a c t e d from v a r i o u s works g i v e B a n v i l l e ' s novel a u n i v e r s a l resonance as w e l l as a way of l o o k i n g at the "act of c r e a t i o n " (DC 85) which seems c r u c i a l t o s c i e n t i f i c advance. Imhof b e l i e v e s , with much b a s i s , t h a t B a n v i l l e seeks to r e l a t e the s c i e n t i f i c i m a g i n a t i o n t o an a r t i s t ' s c r e a t i v e output. A r t i s t and s c i e n t i s t g r a p ple with s i m i l a r problems. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the i s s u e s t h a t a r i s e out of dream, i n t u i t i o n , chance, and i n s p i r a t i o n are rendered p r o b l e m a t i c . What i s l e s s c l e a r , then, i s I m h o f s b e l i e f t h a t B a n v i l l e senses t h a t h i s p r o t a g o n i s t s must l e a d deeply unhappy l i v e s f o r a modicum of s c i e n t i f i c s u c c e s s . T h i s neat s i n e qua non p a r a l l e l i s not s u s t a i n e d i n Doctor  Copernicus and p a r t i c u l a r l y not i n K e p l e r . By s i n of omission, Imhof t r i e s t o s o l i d i f y h i s p o i n t by q u o t i n g from The Newton L e t t e r about those "high c o l d heroes who renounced the world and human happiness to pursue the b i g 30 game of the i n t e l l e c t " (NL 5 8 ), but he lea v e s out, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the next l i n e i n the q u o t a t i o n — " A p r e t t y p i c t u r e — b u t h a r d l y a t r u e one." Imhof appears not t o be convinced t h a t Copernicus' " r e s i g n a t i o n " or " r e n u n c i a t i o n " (Mauthner's terms a p p r o p r i a t e d by Imhof) become l e s s and l e s s v a l i d as we pro g r e s s i n our r e a d i n g of the t e x t . The c r i t i c i s most concerned t o e s t a b l i s h the c o l d i n t e l l e c t u a l l i n k between the act of c r e a t i o n and "supreme f i c t i o n s . " By doing so, Imhof t r i e s t o i s o l a t e s c i e n c e and ign o r e i t s necessary s o c i a l n e g o t i a t i o n . Another area t h a t i s q u e s t i o n a b l e i n Imhof's account i s h i s b e l i e f t h a t R h e t i c u s ' s e c t i o n i s t o t a l l y u n r e l i a b l e . But once we look past the e x c i t a b i l i t y of the f i r s t person d i s c o u r s e , we are hard put to i t t o f i n d s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s of d e l i b e r a t e f a b r i c a t i o n (or f a b r i c a t i o n t h a t i s not l a t e r admitted t o ) . Even Imhof has to say t h a t R h e t i c u s " c o r r e c t l y a s s e r t s " (82) t h a t the dynamism of Copernicus' th e o r y was t h a t i t i m p l i e d t h a t the ce n t r e of the world was i n a space some d i s t a n c e from the sun, i n a v o i d . A l s o , Imhof i s not on s t r o n g ground, i t seems t o me, when he suggests t h a t the novel i m p l i e s t h a t R heticus was not a f u l l y — f l e d g e d Copernican, t h a t he was p r i m a r i l y a Ptolemaican. S u r e l y Rheticus i s speaking m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , i n agreement wi t h Copernicus (and l a t e r K e p l e r ) , when he remarks " t h a t t h i s p l a n e t s h a l l f o r e v e r be the c e n t r e of a l l we know" (DC 180 & 2 2 0 ) . 31 The most thorough a n a l y s i s of a B a n v i l l e n o v e l by Imhof i s h i s chapter on K e p l e r . The c r i t i c e l e v a t e s the thematic i s s u e of K e p l e r the man i n r e l a t i o n t o K e p l e r the astronomer t o prime p o s i t i o n , whereas a s i m i l a r theme i n h i s a n a l y s i s of Doctor Copernicus only ranks t h i r d i n p r i o r i t y . Imhof i s p e r c e p t i v e i n p o i n t i n g out t h a t d r e a m — i n t u i t i o n , u n c o n v e n t i o n a l s c i e n c e , and i n s p i r a t i o n are i n t e g r a l t o K e p l e r ' s s u c c e s s . But f o r the most p a r t , Imhof c o n c e n t r a t e s on the i n t r i c a t e formal p a t t e r n i n g of the n o v e l and B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r v i s — a — v i s the h i s t o r i c a l K e p l e r . On the l a t t e r p o i n t , one senses t h a t Imhof t h r e a t e n s at many p o i n t s t o confuse the two, to the p o i n t of q u o t i n g K o e s t l e r on Kepler, as i f i t d i r e c t l y a p p l i e d t o B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r . In one i n s t a n c e , Imhof t e l l s us t h a t when Ke p l e r and Tycho argued, they separated f o r th r e e weeks and not one n i g h t as i n the n o v e l . "The d e v i a t i o n i s important and, presumably, d e l i b e r a t e " (113) says Imhof, and yet i n an endnote the c r i t i c i n e x p l i c a b l y r e f e r s t o the i n t e r v a l as t h r e e days and, more c u r i o u s l y , he admits "the r e c o r d i n g of these d e v i a t i o n s seems t o be of l i m i t e d v alue o n l y " (184). To be f a i r , Imhof makes an e x c e l l e n t p o i n t t h a t K e p l e r i s a m i s f i t who pursues d i f f i c u l t areas of i n q u i r y p a r t l y because of e x t e r n a l chaos, as r e l a t e d by h i s f i n a n c i a l problems, h i s m a r i t a l ups and downs, h i s f a m i l y ' s obtuseness, and h i s p o l i t i c a l i n e p t n e s s . A l s o of much va l u e i s I m h o f s o v e r a l l sense t h a t K e p l e r was a dreamer or mystic who u t i l i z e d experimental data t o form a b e a u t i f u l , though 32 not n e c e s s a r i l y accurate, t h e o r e t i c a l system. The f i n e l y wrought c o m p o s i t i o n a l design of the n o v e l , m i r r o r i n g almost e x a c t l y the h i s t o r i c a l K e p l e r ' s f i v e major works, p a r t i c u l a r l y a t t r a c t s Imhof's sense of order and harmony. In t u r n i n g t o The Newton L e t t e r , Imhof d e s i r e s us t o see the t e x t as "A b r i l l i a n t e x e r c i s e i n l i t e r a r y d e r i v a t i o n " (140). Of p a r t i c u l a r importance i n Imhof's r e a d i n g i s the i n f l u e n c e of Henry James' The Sacred Fount (1901). The l a t t e r t e x t shares with B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l l a an unnamed n a r r a t o r d e s p e r a t e l y t r y i n g t o make sense of a group of people he has j u s t met. Given Imhof's German background, i t i s not e n t i r e l y s u r p r i s i n g t h a t he l a t c h e s on t o the i n f l u e n c e of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's " E i n B r i e f " (which t a l k s of the l i m i t a t i o n s of language t o express r e a l i t y ) and of Goethe's E l e c t i v e A f f i n i t i e s . The p a r a l l e l i s s e d u c t i v e because Goethe wrote t r a c t s o b j e c t i n g to Newton's the o r y of c o l o u r s . Imhof b e l i e v e s t h a t Goethe's theory of l i g h t and c o l o u r i s a " h o p e l e s s l y untenable t h e o r y " (149), whereas i n f a c t i n recent years h i s t h e o r i e s have had more curre n c y i n C h a o t i c system b u i l d i n g ( G l e i c k 1987, 163—5). S t r a n g e l y , Imhof i g n o r e s any s c i e n t i f i c r a m i f i c a t i o n s r a i s e d by B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l l a . On M e f i s t o , Imhof a l s o p r e s e n t s f o r examination a s t o r e of l i t e r a r y antecedents, i n c l u d i n g Nabokov and (mostly) Goethe's Faust, as w e l l as B a n v i l l e ' s e a r l i e r Birchwood. The c r i t i c emphasizes t h a t chance i s not randomness, but an unknowable order. T h i s e x p l a i n s the Pythagoreanism, the 33 o b s e s s i o n with number elegance, and a l s o the accommodation of i r r a t i o n a l numbers (the e x c e p t i o n s t h a t prove r u l e s ) . Time and space are i n t e g r a t e d . Concepts such as the " e t e r n a l r e c u r r e n c e , " stemming from N i e t z s c h e , t i e i n w i t h the s e r i e s of "symmetrical and m i r r o r — s y m m e t r i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , s e t s of two, b i n a r y p a t t e r n s " (157) t h a t Imhof c o r r e c t l y observes i n the t e x t . Two areas r a i s e d by Imhof are u n f o r t u n a t e l y not developed: (1) the r e f e r e n c e t o the r e c e n t " s c i e n c e " of chaos and M i t c h e l l Feigenbaum, one of i t s proponents, which c e r t a i n l y supports the n o t i o n of chaos as i n f i n i t e order; (2) the way t h a t the s c i e n t i f i c i m a g i n a t i o n i n B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n works s i m i l a r l y t o an a r t i s t ' s i m a g i n a t i o n . Imhof i s f a r more i n t e r e s t e d i n the symmetrical l i t e r a r y p a t t e r n s between M e f i s t o and other f i c t i o n a l works. In h i s s h o r t c o n c l u s i o n t o h i s study of B a n v i l l e ' s work, Imhof argues t h a t the w r i t e r ' s oeuvre i s accumulative, a p r o g r e s s i o n of c e r t a i n themes, p a r t i c u l a r l y the s e a r c h f o r t r u t h and beauty. Only i n M e f i s t o does Imhof see a " s y n t h e s i s . . . of the a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c i m a g i n a t i o n " (171). A l l B a n v i l l e ' s heroes experience a noble f a i l u r e , c o n s t r u c t a supreme f i c t i o n , and l i v e out a redemptive d e s p a i r . A l s o , Imhof would r a t h e r see B a n v i l l e ' s works as a s e r i e s of f i v e or s i x books than see a break between the f i r s t t h r e e books and the l a t e r t e t r a l o g y . His r e a s o n i n g here i s t w o f o l d : (1) he wishes t o a s s e r t t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l s comprise "an admirable whole" (171); (2) he cannot 34 see how the t e t r a l o g y can stand on i t s own because i t has no obvious c l a s s i c a l d i v i s i o n (a t r i l o g y f o l l o w e d by a s a t i r e ) . Why M e f i s t o cannot be t h i s s a t i r e , and why a t e t r a l o g y must be viewed i n a c l a s s i c a l framework i s unquestioned i n Imhof's system. E q u a l l y , Imhof's a n a l y s i s of t h a t "wholeness" i s debatable. He t h i n k s "the s c i e n t i s t s are d e f e a t e d by t h e i r a p r i o r i b e l i e f i n harmony and o r d e r " (171). Yet i t i s more t r u e to say t h a t without these i n t u i t i v e t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t s , B a n v i l l e ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s would not have advanced i n t h e i r s c i e n t i f i c endeavours. B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y deserves extended s c r u t i n y because i t i n v e s t i g a t e s , as Geert Lernout has remarked i n a s h o r t essay (mostly on Birchwood), "the very foundations of the s c i e n t i f i c world view t h a t has shaped the world we l i v e i n today" (1986, 12). But what appears to be so obvious i s not what B a n v i l l e has r e g u l a r l y r e c e i v e d i n terms of c r i t i c i s m . There seems t o be a r e s i s t a n c e to r e a d i n g the t e t r a l o g y as an e x p l o r a t i o n of how r e a l s c i e n c e i s , p e r f o r c e , p e r s o n a l l y and " s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d " and of how s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y i s v ery much p r e d i c a t e d on biography. A l l these p o i n t s r a i s e i s s u e s i n v o l v i n g c u l t u r a l contexts, i n c l u d i n g how we commonly read and understand r e l a t i o n s between s c i e n c e and l i t e r a t u r e . These contexts are taken up i n the f o l l o w i n g chapter. They help us to p r o v i d e a usable s c i e n t i f i c and a r t i s t i c framework i n t o which we can p l a c e B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . In summary, then, what i s absent so f a r i n B a n v i l l e a n c r i t i c i s m i s an extended examination of the s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y i n terms of what the author has t o say about (1) the r e l a t i o n s h i p between f i c t i o n a l forms and the s c i e n t i f i c p r o c e s s ; (2) s c i e n t i f i c biography; and (3) the whole q u e s t i o n of how paradigms change. I seek t o f i l l t h i s obvious gap. I I . Chapter Overview In chapter two, I examine the c u l t u r a l context of these s c i e n t i f i c f i c t i o n s and o u t l i n e my g e n e r a l methodology. Since B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y i m p l i e s t h a t o r d e r l y procedures of e x p l a i n i n g a phenomenon are i m p o s s i b l e , i t may be the case t h a t a c r i t i c must employ m u l t i p l e methodologies t o encompass s a t i s f a c t o r i l y the d i v e r s i t y of m a t e r i a l under i n s p e c t i o n . In each t e x t the major u n i f y i n g i n t e r e s t f o r the c r i t i c i s i n c o n s i d e r i n g the ways B a n v i l l e a l l o w s (1) h i s b r i l l i a n t p r o t a g o n i s t s to b u i l d flawed paradigms, and (2) h i s heroes t o be aware of t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l shortcomings. The heroes' dilemma encourages them t o r e s o r t t o u s able paradigms r a t h e r than t o seek a c c u r a t e or t r u e 36 paradigms. To examine t h i s process, i t i s h e l p f u l t o employ the t h e o r i e s of G e r a l d Holton (1988) whose nine g u i d e l i n e s f o r the s c h o l a r — c r i t i c i n t e r e s t e d i n the s c i e n t i f i c i m a g i n a t i o n p r o v i d e the s c a f f o l d i n g on which another methodology may hang. The nine g u i d e l i n e s t h a t Holton d e s c r i b e s are the f o l l o w i n g : (1) the awareness of f a c t s , data, t e c h n i q u e s , t h e o r i e s of the e r a to e v a l u a t e the s c i e n t i s t ' s p u b l i s h e d work, and of o t h e r s ' work around h i s time; (2) the a n t e c e d e n t s — w h a t came be f o r e the "Event" Of d i s c o v e r y , i n c l u d i n g c o n t i n u i t i e s and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s ; (3) the p e r s o n a l a c t i v i t i e s of the s c i e n t i s t , as r e v e a l e d i n l e t t e r s , d r a f t s , u n p u b l i s h e d manuscripts, abandoned equipment, i n t e r v i e w s , r e m i n i s c e n c e s ; (4) the time t r a j e c t o r y : can we see i n the s c i e n t i s t as a boy h i s l a t e r achievements?; (5) the p s y c h o l o g i c a l — b i o g r a p h i c a l development: i s h i s p u b l i s h e d work i m i t a t e d i n h i s p e r s o n a l l i f e ? ; (6) the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the i d e o l o g i c a l / p o l i t i c a l events of the time; (7) the s o c i a l s e t t i n g , c o n d i t i o n s , i n f l u e n c e s , c o l l e a g u e s h i p , teamwork: i s t h e r e any l i n k between s c i e n c e and p u b l i c p o l i c y ? ; (8) the l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e of the s c i e n t i s t ' s p u b l i s h e d work; and (9) the s c i e n t i s t ' s thematic s u p p o s i t i o n s . N a t u r a l l y , not a l l of these t o p i c s w i l l be v a l u a b l e at any one time f o r B a n v i l l e ' s f o u r p r o t a g o n i s t s ; n e v e r t h e l e s s , they present the c r i t i c with an e f f e c t i v e g e n e r a l framework of a n a l y s i s . 37 Perhaps of more s p e c i f i c r e l e v a n c e are the t h e o r i e s of Thomas Kuhn (1970) on s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. To Kuhn, new paradigms are foregrounded by [ ( a ) ] " t h e p r e v i o u s awareness of anomaly, [ (b)] the gradual and simultaneous emergence of both o b s e r v a t i o n a l and c onceptual r e c o g n i t i o n , and [ (c)] the consequent change of paradigm c a t e g o r i e s and procedures o f t e n accompanied by r e s i s t a n c e " (62). T h i s t h r e e — s t e p p r o c e s s can be t r a c e d i n the work of B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus, Ke p l e r , Newton's biographer, and G a b r i e l Swan. Kuhn a l s o s t r e s s e s the i n t u i t i v e and the p e r s o n a l nature of s c i e n t i f i c r e v o l u t i o n s . The l a t t e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are u n s c i e n t i f i c i n the normal sense, but as r e v e a l e d i n recent books, such as James G l e i c k ' s Chaos: Making A New Science (1987), t h i s " a r t i s t i c " and " s u b j e c t i v e " nature of s c i e n c e i s becoming very important. In t h i s sense, B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y of the 1970s and 1980s has i t s c o u n t e r p a r t i n the a c t u a l s c i e n c e s . In a d d i t i o n , B a n v i l l e ' s work appears to draw on n o t i o n s of c r e a t i v i t y developed i n A r t h u r K o e s t l e r ' s The Sleepwalkers (1959) and The Act of C r e a t i o n (1964). I n t e g r a l t o B a n v i l l e ' s f o u r f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c works i s the word "system." I t i s the s t r i v i n g f o r a harmonious system t h a t d r i v e s Copernicus, Kepler, Newton's biographer, and G a b r i e l Swan to unprecedented i n t e l l e c t u a l advances. I t i s p o s s i b l e t o misread B a n v i l l e ' s novels as a p r i v i l e g i n g of the " o b j e c t i v e " i n t e l l e c t over " s u b j e c t i v e " f e e l i n g s . That i s t o say, the experimental o b s e r v a t i o n of r e a l i t y may appear t o some readers to take over from the p a r t i n t u i t i v e 38 and p a r t e x p e r i e n t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n of r e a l i t y . C e r t a i n l y B a n v i l l e ' s p r o t a g o n i s t s , f o r v a r y i n g l e n g t h s of time, b e l i e v e i n t h i s d i v i d e or estrangement. However, B a n v i l l e i s at p a i n s t o show the p e r s o n a l and h i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s i n which these systems were and are c r e a t e d and developed. I n v a r i a b l y , these c o n d i t i o n s are c h a o t i c and unpleasant, and encourage the mistaken n o t i o n t h a t one can o n l y achieve s c i e n t i f i c r e s u l t s by u s i n g the i n t e l l e c t e x c l u s i v e l y . The f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r s of Copernicus, Kepler, Newton's biographer, and G a b r i e l Swan, i n r e c o n c i l i n g the s u b j e c t i v e and the o b j e c t i v e , the a r t of s t r u c t u r i n g e x p e r i e n c e and the s c i e n c e of d i s c o v e r y , undermine any s u r e t y of a c l o s e d harmonious system. The key reasons why Copernicus on h i s deathbed does not wish to p u b l i s h h i s work, why K e p l e r on h i s deathbed f e e l s h i s whole l i f e ' s work was "thrown away" (191), why Newton's biographer g i v e s up h i s p r o j e c t , why mathematician G a b r i e l Swan f i n a l l y l e aves e v e r y t h i n g t o chance, are (1) t h e i r awareness t h a t t h e r e are o n l y open systems, and i n open systems e x a c t i t u d e i s i l l u s o r y ; and (2) t h e i r awareness t h a t they have merely ended up r a t i o n a l i z i n g t h e i r own experience, without p u r s u i n g the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of such a methodology. In chapter two, the n o t i o n of s c i e n t i f i c f i c t i o n s i s a l s o examined. Such b a s i c terms as " a r t " and " s c i e n c e " need reassessment. I t i s argued here t h a t i n pure s c i e n c e the gap between a r t and s c i e n c e i s not a wide one. In t h i s regard, I i n t r o d u c e p r i n c i p a l l y the work of G e r a l d Holton, 39 who argues f o r c e f u l l y f o r the r e c o g n i t i o n of the a r t i s t i c s i d e of s c i e n c e , u s i n g the E i n s t e i n i a n phrase, "the p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e , " t o e x p l a i n the e x c i t i n g "nascent phase" of " s c i ence—in—the—making." T h i s "personal s t r u g g l e " c l e a r l y f a s c i n a t e s B a n v i l l e . The s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y a l s o appears i n f l u e n c e d by Thomas Kuhn (acknowledged at the b e g i n n i n g of Doctor Copernicus) who s t r e s s e d t h a t s c i e n t i f i c paradigms become widespread only i f they acc o r d with the p r e s e n t b e l i e f s and v e s t e d i n t e r e s t s of s c i e n t i s t s and the g e n e r a l p u b l i c at any given time. B a n v i l l e ' s work r e v i t a l i z e s the combination of s c i e n c e and l i t e r a t u r e . In scanning the h i s t o r i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two, I emphasize t h a t what s e t s B a n v i l l e apart from other w r i t e r s i n t h i s subgenre i s t h a t he i s not concerned with a p p l i e d s c i e n c e which has generated s c i e n c e -f i c t i o n such as Mary S h e l l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n (1818) and H. G. W e lls' The Time Machine (1895), but with pure s c i e n c e , the s c i e n c e of the mind. Pure s c i e n c e here i s understood as theory, s p e c u l a t i o n , and hypothesis, s c i e n c e c o n s i d e r e d apart from p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n s . B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y i s best approached as an extended endeavour t o c o l l a p s e the hard d i s t i n c t i o n between the s c i e n t i f i c and a r t i s t i c modes of t h i n k i n g . I t seems t o me t h a t B a n v i l l e has d e l i b e r a t e l y chosen the forms of biography and autobiography because they can be s a i d t o e n c a p s u l a t e n e a t l y the f u s i o n of " s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t and " a r t i s t i c " f i c t i o n . In the work of B a n v i l l e , the d i v i d i n g l i n e between 40 the t h e o r e t i c a l s c i e n c e s of astronomy and mathematics and c r e a t i v e a r t n e c e s s a r i l y becomes b l u r r e d , s i n c e the a r t and s c i e n c e of biography i s the w r i t e r ' s c e n t r a l f o c u s . Numerous guides t o and c r i t i c a l works on the a r t of l i t e r a r y b iography e x i s t , but the same can h a r d l y be s a i d f o r the a r t (and s c i e n c e ) of s c i e n t i f i c biography. S c i e n t i f i c b i o g r a p h i e s are r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e , but works on s c i e n t i f i c b iography are not. Holton c a l l s f o r more work i n t h i s f i e l d , and t o some extent ( i n the realm of f i c t i o n ) B a n v i l l e , with h i s v a r i e d a r t i s t i c forms, answers the c a l l . A main theme of John B a n v i l l e ' s s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y i s t h a t experimental and t e c h n o l o g i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n cannot account f u l l y f o r the c o m p l e x i t i e s of the world as e x p e r i e n c e d by human bein g s . One of the reasons f o r the complexity of the novel Doctor Copernicus, the t o p i c of chapter t h r e e , i s t h a t B a n v i l l e takes great p a i n s t o i n t e g r a t e h i s t o r y , p o l i t i c s , r e l i g i o n , s e x u a l i t y , and s c i e n t i f i c thought, a l l w i t h i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r N i c o l a s Copernicus. In s h o r t , i n h i s e f f o r t t o h i s t o r i c i z e and to e x p l a i n a genius, B a n v i l l e appears to cover the key areas about s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y which G e r a l d H o l t o n f i n d s f a s c i n a t i n g . These areas i n c l u d e the s c i e n t i s t ' s boyhood i n t e r e s t s which are l a t e r taken up i n h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l l i f e ; the i n f l u e n c e s of h i s f a m i l y , f r i e n d s and c o l l e a g u e s ; the l i n k between s c i e n c e and p u b l i c p o l i c y ; the s c i e n t i s t ' s l i v i n g and working c o n d i t i o n s ; and the s c i e n t i s t ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l 41 assumptions. These t o p i c s are mediated at times by d i f f e r e n t n a r r a t o r s , a technique which i s c o n s i s t e n t with the s h i f t i n g paradigms e v i d e n t i n Copernicus' world. Chapter t h r e e e x p l o r e s each of the aforementioned areas t o r e v e a l the p a r a d o x i c a l a c t i v i t y of the t e x t which, while i t i s o s t e n s i b l y b u i l d i n g systems, i s c o n s t a n t l y u n b u i l d i n g them. In chapter f o u r , I examine the p e c u l i a r " p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e " of B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r . Most s t r i k i n g i s the apparent B a n v i l l e a n p r i n c i p l e (which resembles Holton's view of the h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e ) t h a t "when h i s [Kepler's] p h y s i c s f a i l s , h i s metaphysics comes to the rescue" (Holton 54). Put another way, when K e p l e r ' s s c i e n c e as method and o b s e r v a t i o n r e t r e a t s , h i s a r t of i n t e l l e c t u a l p l a y (which i n c l u d e s i n t u i t i o n and c r e a t i v i t y ) advances. Metaphysics here i s d e f i n e d by Holton (and myself i n r e f e r e n c e t o B a n v i l l e ' s work) as statements of g e n e r a l understanding which have no b a s i s i n the observable world. To H o l t o n . t h i s means p r i m a r i l y a mathematical over a mechanical model, emanating from a t h e o l o g i c a l base or impulse. In a number of areas i n the t e x t , i n t u i t i o n and c r e a t i v i t y are c o n f r o n t e d , d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y . A f t e r c o n s i d e r i n g the g e n e r a l i s s u e of order out of d i s o r d e r , the chapter e x p l o r e s K e p l e r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the f o l l o w i n g : (a) the brotherhood of s c i e n c e and astronomy; (b) r e l i g i o n ; (c) a s t r o l o g y ; (d) p h y s i c a l a c t i o n ; and (e) dreams. D i s c u s s i o n of these t o p i c s r e v e a l s the i n t e g r a t e d sense of the s c i e n t i s t ' s i d e a s and h i s s o c i e t y . 42 The r a d i c a l s h i f t i n the t e t r a l o g y from the s i x t e e n t h t h and seventeenthth c e n t u r i e s of Doctor Copernicus and K e p l e r t o the t w e n t i e t h century i n The Newton L e t t e r and M e f i s t o i s matched by a s h i f t from the more " o b j e c t i v e " b i o g r a p h i c a l form t o the more " s u b j e c t i v e " a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l form. In a d d i t i o n , the Newtonian p r i n c i p l e of order and r e g u l a r i t y , a p o s i t i o n which Copernicus and K e p l e r were working towards, i s undermined by the academic n a r r a t o r of The Newton L e t t e r . Chapter f i v e f o l l o w s the c r i s i s of f a i t h of t h i s n a r r a t o r , who i s s t r u g g l i n g with a biography of Newton. The b i o g r a p h e r ' s sense of f a i l u r e appears to be of c e n t r a l importance; i t i s the awareness t h a t the Newtonian and other paradigms are no longer t e n a b l e which c r e a t e s the t e n s i o n i n B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l l a . I s p e c i f i c a l l y c o n s i d e r the i n f l u e n c e s of the s o c i a l s e t t i n g , i n c l u d i n g the n a r r a t o r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with O t t i l i e , C h a r l o t t e , and Edward, as w e l l as h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the f i c t i o n a l f i g u r e of Newton b r i e f l y brought to l i f e i n the t e x t . The Newton L e t t e r connects with the two p r e v i o u s t e x t s by i t s i n s i s t e n c e on the importance of i n f l u e n c e s upon the s c i e n t i f i c i n d i v i d u a l , many of which are not s c i e n t i f i c i n n a t u r e . The n a r r a t o r of the n o v e l l a c l e a r l y l e a r n s from h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with the i n h a b i t a n t s of Fern House. T h e i r i n f l u e n c e , however, i s one of displacement from h i s t a s k at h a n d — t h e w r i t i n g of h i s b o o k — b u t they do seem t o r e v i v e f o r him, i r o n i c a l l y enough, t h a t c r u c i a l p e r i o d of Newton's 43 breakdown i n 1693. I t suggests t h a t he, too, can now c o n t i n u e with a g r e a t e r sense of h i s own m o r t a l i t y and of h i s own i n t e l l e c t u a l l i m i t a t i o n s i n g r a s p i n g the world of h i s s u b j e c t . Chapter s i x on M e f i s t o shows e m p h a t i c a l l y t h a t e x p e r i m e n t a l o b s e r v a t i o n i s a f a l s e t h e o r e t i c a l t r a i l f o r the n a r r a t o r who, f i n a l l y , f u l l y endorses chance and randomness as the norms of the world. L i k e Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton's biographer, G a b r i e l Swan i s i n f l u e n c e d by those around him i n d e v e l o p i n g h i s t h e o r i e s of systems. However, i n Swan's case, from the n i n e t e e n t h t h c e n t u r y — l i k e s e c t i o n , " M a r i o n e t t e s , " set i n the Ashburn e s t a t e under the t u t e l a g e of Mr. K a s p e r l , to the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y — l i k e s e c t i o n , "Angels," set mostly i n the computer room under the s u p e r v i s i o n of P r o f e s s o r Kosok, a t r u l y postmodern conundrum e m e r g e s — t o o much data and not enough i n f o r m a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r conveys a d i s t i n c t unease by the asymmetry of h i s d i s c o u r s e , both i n form and i n content. Asymmetry here i s understood as the r e l a t i o n s h i p between double forms or double p a t t e r n s which appear t o be e q u i v a l e n t but which on c l o s e r i n s p e c t i o n prove t o be only a l i k e . I t i s the g r a d u a l l o s s of symmetry i n the n a r r a t o r ' s world p i c t u r e t h a t breeds asymmetry. Of course, s i n c e M e f i s t o i s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l reminiscence, the n a r r a t o r o f t e n d e c l i n e s t o pursue the r a m i f i c a t i o n s of t h i s asymmetry i n case h i s n a r r a t i v e t o t a l l y breaks down (which i t o f t e n t h r e a t e n s to do). The haphazard events which occur i n Swan's l i f e — t h e 44 sudden deaths of h i s mother and f a t h e r and h i s own h o r r i f i c b u r n i n g — c o n v i n c e him t h a t these " s u b j e c t i v e " i n c i d e n t s have a wider a p p l i c a b i l i t y . In b r i e f , they suggest the i n f l u e n c e of randomness and chance as o v e r a r c h i n g determinants i n system b u i l d i n g . In my c o n c l u d i n g chapter seven, " B a n v i l l e , Science, and I r e l a n d , " I emphasize t h a t the t e t r a l o g y needs t o be seen as a u n i t , f o r d e s p i t e a f o r e t a s t e i n Birchwood (1973) and an a f t e r t a s t e i n The Book Of Evidence (1989), the f o u r t e x t s c o n f r o n t b o l d l y the i s s u e of s c i e n c e as s u b j e c t matter and as a source of constant c r e a t i v i t y . In c o v e r i n g the g e n e r a l t o p i c of s c i e n c e and I r e l a n d , I f i r s t o u t l i n e the g e n e r a l c r i t i c i s m of Davies (1985) and Outram (1986). They b e l i e v e t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s c i e n c e and I r e l a n d has been p u r p o s e l y i g n o r e d by I r i s h commentators f o r two reasons: (1) most I r i s h s c i e n t i s t s were P r o t e s t a n t s , and (2) s c i e n c e t h r e a t e n e d t o d i s l o d g e the G a e l i c R e v i v a l as w e l l as the p o s i t i o n of the Roman C a t h o l i c Church. B a n v i l l e ' s e x t e n s i v e i n t e r e s t i n s c i e n c e and s c i e n t i f i c f i g u r e s i s a response t o a gap i n I r i s h c u l t u r e , i t s e l f too long p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h debates about r e l i g i o n and n a t i o n a l i t y . Along w i t h an important s h o r t s t o r y of Ronan Sheehan, "The Boy With An I n j u r e d Eye" (1983), John B a n v i l l e ' s work can be seen as an attempt f i r s t l y t o demythologize s c i e n c e and secondly t o i n s e r t i t s a r t i s t i c s i d e back i n t o c u l t u r a l commentary. Notes t o Chapter One: I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Other reviewers of the novel were a l s o d i s a p p o i n t e d i n B a n v i l l e ' s u n d e r p l a y i n g of Copernicus' a b i l i t y . See, f o r example, [/Anon. ] " B r i e f L i v e s " (1976, 131): "how the t h e o r y i t s e l f became so q u i c k l y and widely known, i n s p i t e of Copernicus' r e f u s a l t o p u b l i s h — i s not the most s a t i s f a c t o r y aspect of Mr. B a n v i l l e ' s otherwise o u t s t a n d i n g n o v e l . " 2 See i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s "John B a n v i l l e ' s Supreme F i c t i o n " (1981); "The Newton L e t t e r : An E x e r c i s e i n L i t e r a r y D e r i v a t i o n " (1983); "Swan's Way, or Goethe, E i n s t e i n , B a n v i l l e — T h e E t e r n a l Recurrence" (1987); and "German I n f l u e n c e s on John B a n v i l l e and Aidan H i g g i n s " (1987). 3 See, f o r example, "A L i t t l e B i t of Ivory, Two Inches Wide: The Small World of J e n n i f e r Johnston's F i c t i o n " (1985) . Chapter Two The Cultural Context: Reading Literature and Science We, the inventors, s c i e n t i s t s , engineers and craftsmen, had created a t e r r i b l e weapon, the most t e r r i b l e i n human history; but i t s use would l i e e n t i r e l y outside our control. The people at the top of the party and m i l i t a r y hierarchy would make the decisions. Of course, I knew t h i s a l r e a d y — I wasn't that naive. But understanding something i n an abstract way i s d i f f e r e n t from f e e l i n g i t with your whole being. -The ideas and emotions kindled at that moment have not diminished to t h i s day, and they completely al t e r e d my thinking. (Andrei Sakharov 66) The c u l t u r a l context into which one must place Banville's tetralogy i s complex. In the f i r s t place, one should take cognizance of Banville's own views on art and science as revealed i n his n o n f i c t i o n a l writings and i n interview. These "personalized texts" enlighten us as to the p e c u l i a r nature of the writer's f i c t i o n a l quartet. They also lead us into the s p e c i f i c problems of the two cultures debate, popularized by C. P. Snow in 1959. Following t h i s , I then go on to discuss how t h e o r i s t s and h i s t o r i a n s of science have t r i e d to reconcile these two apparent poles. In t h i s examination, I introduce mainly the work of Gerald Holton (on psychobiographical development), Thomas Kuhn (on 47 paradigm change), and A r t h u r K o e s t l e r (on c r e a t i v i t y ) as ways t o understand B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . These w r i t e r s ' f o r m u l a t i o n s comprise my g e n e r a l methodology throughout t h i s study. The p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l emphasis i n these works demands t h a t the c r i t i c e s t a b l i s h the g e n e r a l k i n d of f i c t i o n a l b i o g r a p h i e s and a u t o b i o g r a p h i e s which B a n v i l l e w r i t e s . I t i s w i t h i n t h i s frame of r e f e r e n c e t h a t I d i s c u s s the problems of d e f i n i n g the t e t r a l o g y ' s genre. I. W r i t i n g on A r t and Science What i s c l e a r from the p r e v i o u s chapter i s t h a t c r i t i c s of B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y acknowledge the e x i s t e n c e of s c i e n c e i n h i s work but f i n d d i f f i c u l t y i n c r e a t i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l framework i n which to p l a c e i t . T h i s d i f f i c u l t y i s produced by a c o n f u s i o n of d e f i n i t i o n with r e g a r d t o l i t e r a t u r e t h a t t r e a t s s c i e n c e . I b e l i e v e the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c must become a c u l t u r a l c r i t i c t o do j u s t i c e t o B a n v i l l e ' s endeavour. C e r t a i n l y t h i s i s the impression one r e c e i v e s when one analyzes the n o n f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g s of John B a n v i l l e h i m s e l f . Before I c o n s i d e r these, however, I wish t o c l a r i f y f i r s t what my c r i t i c i s m and approach cannot be, g i v e n the nature of the t e x t s under i n s p e c t i o n . One common procedure f o r a l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i n the f i e l d of l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e i s t o show how s p e c i f i c s c i e n t i f i c t e x t s p o s s i b l y i n f l u e n c e d the w r i t i n g s of p a r t i c u l a r 48 authors. To be more p r e c i s e , the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c t r i e s t o e s t a b l i s h t h a t , along with s t r u c t u r a l a n a l o g i e s , c e r t a i n themes, such as e v o l u t i o n i s m versus c r e a t i o n i s m , permeate the a r t i s t i c work. A more up-to-date example would be Dennis Bohnenkamp's a r t i c l e (1989) on the contemporary n o v e l and modern s c i e n c e . On Thomas Pynchon's G r a v i t y ' s Rainbow (1973), Bohnenkamp s t a t e s : The t i t l e i t s e l f r e f e r s to the t r a j e c t o r y of a V—2 r o c k e t . The novel c o n t a i n s equations from d i f f e r e n t i a l c a l c u l u s and p r o b a b i l i t y t h e o r y . I t s whole s t r u c t u r e embodies the c o n f l i c t i n v o l v e d i n the paradigm s h i f t from determinism, cause and e f f e c t and c o n t r o l , t o random chance, s t a t i s t i c a l p r o b a b i l i t y and freedom. I t would be v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e to a r r i v e at a f u l l or, f o r t h a t matter, adequate understanding of the n o v e l without some grasp of the concepts of P o s t — E i n s t e i n i a n p h y s i c s . (27) Another procedure i s f o r the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c t o argue t h a t a s c i e n t i f i c t e x t and a l i t e r a r y t e x t w r i t t e n at the same time share common d i s c o u r s e s . George Levine's r e c e n t book on Darwin (1989) sees Darwinian p a r a l l e l s i n the works of C h a r l e s Dickens and Anthony T r o l l o p e . To a l l appearances, t h i s i s innocuous enough, u n t i l i t i s r e a l i z e d t h a t n e i t h e r author had read Darwin. Levine's argument i s not i n v a l i d a t e d , s i n c e t h e r e i s no reason t h a t w r i t e r s who have no c o n t a c t with each other should not pounce on s i m i l a r new i d e a s . T h i s approach i s premised on K o e s t l e r i a n " r i p e n e s s , " e x p l a i n e d f u r t h e r below. On a more t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l , the work of M i c h e l Serres (1982) has attempted t o b r i d g e s c i e n t i f i c and humanistic knowledge by l o o k i n g f o r the "passageways" (another word f o r s t r u c t u r a l and thematic 49 a n a l o g i e s ) i n f i c t i o n a l t e x t s by Z o l a and Verne, who seem to emerge under such a n a l y s i s as p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c i e n t i s t s . These two approaches encourage the employment of c r i t i c a l words such as "echo," " r e f l e c t " and " p a r a l l e l . " The c r i t i c s have two t e x t s , at the very l e a s t , between which they draw c o n n e c t i n g l i n e s . By i n t e r r o g a t i n g B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y with e i t h e r or both of these procedures, however, we w i l l underplay i t s wealth of r i c h e s . To my mind, what a t t r a c t s B a n v i l l e i s the h i s t o r y of i d e a s i n s c i e n c e and the way s c i e n t i f i c thought, however b r i l l i a n t , depends f o r mediation on a s o c i a l n e g o t i a t i o n (which i s u n p r e d i c t a b l e ) . He does not "borrow" s c i e n c e f o r l i t e r a t u r e , but takes s c i e n c e as p a r t and p a r c e l of l i t e r a t u r e and h i s t o r y w i t h i n the frame of h i s f i c t i o n s . One q u e s t i o n then o c c u r s : Is B a n v i l l e ' s work a new h i s t o r y of s c i e n c e r a t h e r than a l i t e r a r y a r t i f a c t ? The answer, I b e l i e v e , l i e s somewhere between the two. 1 The t e t r a l o g y i s not a l i t e r a r y c r i t i q u e of s c i e n t i f i c t e x t s ; t h a t i s , i t does not examine the r h e t o r i c of the s c i e n t i s t ' s p u b l i s h e d w r i t i n g s d i r e c t l y . ^ T h i s awareness i s where the reader's i n t e r e s t l i e s , f o r B a n v i l l e ' s novels are more n o t a b l e f o r what they are not than f o r what they are. They are not simply (1) h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l s ; (2) s c i e n t i f i c c h a r a c t e r s t u d i e s ; or (3) r e v i s e d h i s t o r i e s of s c i e n c e . As a f o u r p a r t system, the t e t r a l o g y combines a c r i t i c i s m of r e c e i v e d n o t i o n s of h i s t o r y with a c r i t i c i s m of c r e a t i v i t y and of change, the accumulative e f f e c t of which i s t o f o r c e the 50 reader t o demythologize the l o f t y n o t i o n of s c i e n c e as separate from a r t i s t i c ideas or a r t i s t i c modes of t h i n k i n g . A r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c methods are perhaps d i f f e r e n t , but although i m p l i c i t i n h i s t h i n k i n g , t h i s i s not B a n v i l l e ' s main argument. His c e n t r a l argument i s based on the way the mind b u i l d s and accommodates systems of thought and p e r c e p t i o n (or paradigms) from which separate a r t i s t i c or s c i e n t i f i c methods may e v o l v e . In a d d i t i o n , B a n v i l l e wishes to cement the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the act of (pure) s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y and a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y . Kuhn, d i s c u s s e d below, t a l k s of the r i g i d models f o l l o w e d by s c i e n t i s t s i n t h e i r c o n s t r u c t i o n of a methodology. The a r t i s t i c e q u i v a l e n t i n f i c t i o n c o u l d w e l l be the overwhelming p o p u l a r i t y of the t h i r d person n a r r a t i v e mode as a means to convince the reader of the t e x t ' s a u t h o r i t y . Of course, Wayne Booth's The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n (1961/1983) i s only one book i n the f i e l d of n a r r a t o l o g y which c l e a r l y shows t h a t complex degrees of d i s t a n c e can be d i s c o v e r e d i n a t h i r d person t e x t , j u s t as i n a f i r s t person t e x t . But the main p o i n t here i s the ready acceptance of a major model w i t h i n which or from which c e r t a i n s m a l l d e t a i l s can be worked through. Some working d e f i n i t i o n of " s c i e n c e " i s r e q u i r e d i f B a n v i l l e ' s work i s to be p r o f i t a b l y d i s c u s s e d . One i s c o n s c i o u s t h a t i t i s a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of s c i e n c e which i s b e i n g s c r u t i n i z e d i n h i s f i c t i o n and i n some of h i s n o n f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g s . The most s i g n i f i c a n t a r t i c l e he has 51 w r i t t e n on t h i s t o p i c was p u b l i s h e d under the t i t l e " P h y s i c s and F i c t i o n : Order. From Chaos" (1985). B a n v i l l e ends t h i s a r t i c l e , almost triumphantly, d e c l a r i n g t h a t "as s c i e n c e moves away from the search f o r blank c e r t a i n t i e s i t takes on more and more the c h a r a c t e r of p o e t i c metaphor, and s i n c e f i c t i o n i s moving, however s l u g g i s h l y , i n the same d i r e c t i o n , perhaps a c e r t a i n seepage between the two streams i s i n e v i t a b l e " (42). Pure s c i e n c e i s d e f i n e d by B a n v i l l e here as an i n t e l l e c t u a l and t h e o r e t i c a l p u r s u i t and thus can be compared t o l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y . B a n v i l l e laments t h a t a great w r i t e r such as Nabokov has not taken up the c h a l l e n g e of l i n k i n g l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e . He i s encouraged, however, by the p a s t — G o e t h e ' s uniqueness as a s c i e n t i f i c and a r t i s t i c genius i s c i t e d . I t i s s u r p r i s i n g t h a t B a n v i l l e chose not to w r i t e a n o v e l about Goethe, s i n c e t h e r e was a man who " d i s t r u s t e d the p a r a p h e r n a l i a of s c i e n c e [ i t s a p p l i e d e l e m e n t ] — m i c r o s c o p e s , t e l e s c o p e s , a l l such ' e n g i n e s ' — w h i c h v i o l a t e the f r o n t i e r s of human, and humane p e r c e p t i o n " (41). The core of B a n v i l l e ' s argument i s t h a t i n both s c i e n c e and a r t t h e r e are no simple "yes" or "no" answers but a " d r i f t of p r o b a b i l i t i e s . . . . In s c i e n c e , as i n a l l human a f f a i r s , e v e r y t h i n g r a m i f i e s " (1) . As B a n v i l l e put i t i n an e a r l y i n t e r v i e w , " s c i e n c e has changed our n o t i o n of the world. P s y c h o a n a l y s i s has changed our view of human beings. I t seems t o me t h a t a r t i s t s haven't caught up with t h a t at a l l " ("Novelists on the 52 Novel" 1979: 79). His f i c t i o n on i n d i v i d u a l f i g u r e s w i l l b r i n g , t h e r e f o r e , s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r y t o l i f e , f o r " i f I read l e t t e r s from K e p l e r or Copernicus, t h e r e ' s a c u r i o u s b l o o d l e s s n e s s about them—even the-most p a s s i o n a t e l e t t e r s — they don't have t h a t sense of t r u t h which n o v e l s do get" (84). T h i s "sense of t r u t h " i s t o be found i n one of B a n v i l l e ' s f a v o u r i t e novels, Marguerite Yourcenar's The  Abyss, whose main c h a r a c t e r , Zeno, i s "as most of the gre a t Renaissance f i g u r e s were, a mixture of s c h o l a s t i c and humanist s c i e n t i s t and mystic, s c e p t i c and f a n a t i c " ("Heavenly Alchemy" 1977: 28). The s c i e n c e o f Zeno i s both a e s t h e t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l , and the same can be s a i d of the s c i e n c e of B a n v i l l e ' s heroes. With some understatement i n "Physics and F i c t i o n , " B a n v i l l e remarks t h a t "the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e has always been an uneasy one" (41) . B a n v i l l e i s t r u l y an i n h e r i t o r of the two c u l t u r e s debate, but he s i d e s t e p s the q u e s t i o n of technology. F o l l o w i n g C. P. Snow, I t h i n k the d i v i d e between a r t and s c i e n c e s t r o n g l y m a n i f e s t e d i t s e l f d u r i n g the i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n of the n i n e t e e n t h century when machinery of a l l kinds came onto the market at an unprecedented r a t e , and the a r t i s t i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s of which were not c o n s i d e r e d . S c i e n t i f i c t e chnology i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e f i n e , and cannot be t o t a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from a r t i s t i c p r a c t i c e . For example, the technology of p r i n t i n g m u l t i p l e c o p i e s of one t e x t enabled w r i t e r s t o be more widely known and undoubtedly a f f e c t e d 53 i t h e i r view of a r t and w r i t i n g . Since technology can spread knowledge, i t can never be c o n v i n c i n g l y d i v o r c e d from a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y . For t h i s reason, Matthew A r n o l d ' s essay " L i t e r a t u r e and Sc i e n c e " (1882) remains s i g n i f i c a n t , d e s p i t e having been w r i t t e n over one hundred years ago. A r n o l d avers, p a r a p h r a s i n g F. A. Wolf, t h a t " a l l l e a r n i n g i s s c i e n t i f i c which i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y l a i d out and f o l l o w e d up t o i t s o r i g i n a l sources, and t h a t a genuine humanism i s s c i e n t i f i c " (213). He c o n t i n u e s : " A l l knowledge t h a t reaches us through books i s l i t e r a t u r e " (214) . A r n o l d sees l i t t l e d i s p a r i t y between s c i e n t i f i c and hum a n i s t i c knowledge. I f t h e r e i s a ch o i c e t o be made between the two d i s c i p l i n e s , A r n o l d i s convinced t h a t people w i l l choose humane l e t t e r s f o r reasons of beauty and of conduct. The l a t t e r seems t o mean t h a t l i t e r a t u r e can improve people's l i v e s , i d e a s , and m o r a l i t y . Science alone cannot. A r n o l d i m p l i e s t h a t s c i e n c e , d e f i n e d as sy s t e m a t i c arrangement of knowledge, i s somehow c o l d , c l i n i c a l , and d e f i c i e n t . Nonetheless, A r n o l d a l s o suggests t h a t s t r i c t d e f i n i t i o n s between areas of knowledge are f u t i l e t o uphold, s i n c e knowledge, which may be s c i e n t i f i c , once w r i t t e n down becomes l i t e r a t u r e . One wonders i f A r n o l d c o n c e i v e d a c o r o l l a r y t o h i s n o t i o n t h a t "genuine humanism i s s c i e n t i f i c , " t h a t i s , can a genuine s c i e n c e convey humanism? Ar n o l d ' s essay i s f a i r l y b r i e f and s t r i k e s one as a r e a c t i o n t o e x c e s s i v e V i c t o r i a n i n d u s t r i a l i s m , j u s t as perhaps C. P. Snow's n o t o r i o u s Rede l e c t u r e , "The Two 54 C u l t u r e s and.The S c i e n t i f i c R e v o l u t i o n " (1959) i s a r e a c t i o n t o the excesses of the Atomic and Hydrogen bomb development. 3 Snow's essay i s a pa s s i o n a t e , humanist argument f o r world s o c i a l and e d u c a t i o n a l change. Eminently q u a l i f i e d — " B y t r a i n i n g I was a s c i e n t i s t ; by v o c a t i o n I was a w r i t e r " (1)—Snow d e f i n e s a c u l t u r e , whether s c i e n t i f i c or a r t i s t i c / l i t e r a r y , when he sees a group of people who "respond a l i k e " (10) t o c e r t a i n i s s u e s . Because of the d i v i d e between l i t e r a r y i n t e l l e c t u a l s and s c i e n t i s t s , Snow b e l i e v e s they are both "impoverished." C e r t a i n l y , most i n t e l l e c t u a l s would have t o agree with h i s argument t h a t B r i t i s h e d u c a t i o n f o r c e s e a r l y s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . I m p l i c i t i n h i s w r i t i n g i s h i s b e l i e f t h a t human advances have not been ac h i e v e d by such s p e c i a l i z a t i o n but by people with a g e n e r a l a b i l i t y . To support t h i s a s s e r t i o n , Snow argues t h a t n i n e t e e n t h century i n d u s t r i a l changes owed l i t t l e t o i n t e l l e c t u a l s . Furthermore, Snow i n c o r p o r a t e s w r i t t e n p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y , t h a t of h i s gr a n d f a t h e r ' s u n d e r u t i l i z a t i o n i n s o c i e t y , as a "maintenance foreman i n a tramway depot" (25). To Snow, h i s g r a n d f a t h e r ' s work was of a g e n e r a l and u s e f u l k i n d t h a t made p r a c t i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s , even though he was a man who c o u l d have e x c e l l e d i n a more s p e c i a l i z e d o c c u p a t i o n . P o s s i b l y f o r t h i s reason, Snow h i g h l i g h t s the v i r t u e s of a p p l i e d s c i e n c e , not pure s c i e n c e . I t h i n k t h i s i s s i g n i f i c a n t . Snow i n h i s own e a r l y r e s e a r c h chose pure s c i e n c e , he admits, f o r i t s snob v a l u e . Pure s c i e n t i s t s are " l a t e l e a r n e r s " about l i f e and i n d u s t r y , much 55 t o t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i e t y ' s detriment. Only the c a t a l y s t of the war pushed Snow i n t o a p p l i e d s c i e n c e and some a p p r e c i a t i o n of the need f o r balance i n e d u c a t i o n . In " P h y s i c s and F i c t i o n , " B a n v i l l e c r i t i c i z e s C. P. Snow's "The Two C u l t u r e s " f o r d e p i c t i n g t e c h n o l o g i s t s r a t h e r than s c i e n t i s t s . I t i s t r u e t h a t B a n v i l l e i s i n t e r e s t e d i n pure s c i e n c e , whereas C. P. Snow has a p p l i e d s c i e n c e much to the f o r e f r o n t of h i s mind. Rather u n c i v i l l y , B a n v i l l e doubts t h a t C. P. Snow's "wooden s t y l e " (42) i n h i s f i c t i o n c o u l d ever achieve a matching with s c i e n t i f i c i n t e l l e c t . I r a i s e "The Two C u l t u r e s " essay to a v o i d the simple statement t h a t B a n v i l l e i s out to prove Snow's t h e s i s on s c i e n t i s t s and a r t i s t s r i g h t or wrong. Rather, he i s f a s c i n a t e d by the t h e o r e t i c a l analogy between pure s c i e n c e and a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y , which i s a somewhat d i f f e r e n t agenda from Snow's. To the l a t t e r ' s defence, Snow was only drawing a t t e n t i o n t o what he saw around him at a p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l j u n c t u r e . B a n v i l l e ' s p r o j e c t , l i n k i n g s c i e n c e and a r t , i s d i f f e r e n t from other endeavours i n terms of a c t i v e l y b l u r r i n g the c o n j o i n i n g of l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e . N o v e l i s t M i c h a e l Stewart has lamented the i m p r e c i s i o n of d e f i n i n g t h i s very f i e l d . The novels he speaks of c o u l d w e l l i n c l u d e B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y : I f s c i e n c e i s the s t u f f of l i f e and l i f e i s the s t u f f of f i c t i o n , why i s t h e r e such a g l a r i n g l a c k of s c i e n t i f i c content i n mainstream f i c t i o n today? . . . . The reason why t h i s r i c h seam remains l a r g e l y unmined has t o do with the legacy 56 of the Two C u l t u r e s — t h e arts versus the sciences. Novelists tend to avoid new scenarios because they don't speak the language of science. Reviewers confronted with such a novel give scant column inches to the genre because they lack a grasp of an area of l i t e r a t u r e without a t r a d i t i o n . I f i n d even publishers and booksellers have a problem i n categorising them. Are they t h r i l l e r s ? No, but they're t h r i l l i n g . Horror? No, but at times morally h o r r i f i c . Science F i c t i o n ? They are f i c t i o n and rooted i n science fact, but they're c e r t a i n l y not SF. Publishers t r y coining new labels l i k e "psycho—suspense." But t h i s i s to deny the books t h e i r wider readership. In the end, they belong on the general f i c t i o n shelves, for that i s exactly what they are." ("In My View" G4) To e s t a b l i s h Banville's space, i t i s necessary then to turn to dictionary d e f i n i t i o n s because what we are dealing with here i s a form of "science f i c t i o n " which i s not the popular one. In the OED (1989) , for example, the common d e f i n i t i o n i s preferred, namely, "imaginative f i c t i o n based on postulated s c i e n t i f i c discoveries or spectacular environmental changes, freq. set i n the future or on other planets and involving space or time t r a v e l . " In t h i s category of science f i c t i o n , we have f u t u r i t y , fantasy, and t r a v e l i n the universe and beyond. The novels of Isaac Asimov are c l e a r l y part of t h i s subgenre. Less ambitious, but more widely read and revered, are Zamyatin's We, Orwell's 1984, and Huxley's Brave New World as novels focussed on f u t u r i t y on earth. These examples are, of course, dystopias, pointing out the desiccating e f f e c t s of s c i e n t i f i c and mathematical order on human beings. We may 57 wish t o put H. G. W e l l s ' s The Time Machine i n t h i s category, too, as an a p p l i c a t i o n of s c i e n c e which p r o j e c t s us i n t o the f u t u r e , though presumably a l s o i n t o the p a s t . B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y c l e a r l y does not have a home i n these d e f i n i t i o n s . For n o v e l s d e a l i n g with s c i e n c e and the p a s t , we have t o t u r n f o r a r e a s s u r i n g d e f i n i t i o n of s c i e n c e f i c t i o n t o Webster's T h i r d New I n t e r n a t i o n a l D i c t i o n a r y of the E n g l i s h  Language, namely, " f i c t i o n d e a l i n g p r i n c i p a l l y w i t h the impact of a c t u a l or imagined s c i e n c e upon s o c i e t y or i n d i v i d u a l s . " T h i s k i n d of d e f i n i t i o n i s supported by many l i t e r a r y handbooks. Joseph S h i p l e y (1970) d e c l a r e s "Science F i c t i o n (SF) i s t h a t branch of l i t e r a t u r e which d e a l s with the response of human beings t o advances i n s c i e n c e and t e c hnology." Henry Shaw (1972) sees s c i e n c e f i c t i o n as " N a r r a t i v e which draws i m a g i n a t i v e l y on s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, theory, and s p e c u l a t i o n i n i t s p l o t , theme, and s e t t i n g . " More s u b t l y , C. Hugh Holman and W i l l i a m Harmon (1986) remark t h a t " c o n c e i v a b l y , i f the element of time ( e i t h e r past or f u t u r e ) i s c o n s p i c u o u s l y important, then some Science F i c t i o n may q u a l i f y as h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n . " These d e f i n i t i o n s are broad and accurate enough f o r us t o i n c l u d e Mary S h e l l e y ' s F r a n k e n s t e i n and John B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . Both c e n t r e on i n d i v i d u a l s i n t e n t on the i n t e l l e c t u a l p u r s u i t of s c i e n t i f i c t heory. Of course, where they p a r t company i s t h a t whereas B a n v i l l e i s concerned with pure s c i e n c e , theory and only theory, S h e l l e y ' s novel imagines a p p l i e d s c i e n c e , the p u t t i n g i n t o p r a c t i c e of, 58 i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, a supposedly di s c r e d i t e d t h e o r y — t h a t inanimate matter can be animated. Although unconventional science seems to be severely c r i t i c i z e d i n Shelley's novel, she introduces many ideas that s t i l l provoke the s c i e n t i f i c world with regard to what are acceptable and unacceptable (Kuhnian) s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. Clearly, our d e f i n i t i o n of science f i c t i o n has to be loose to incorporate works which examine (1) science i n the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from a mostly Renaissance perspective (Doctor Copernicus and Kepler); (2) eighteenth century science from a twentieth century perspective (The Newton Le t t e r ) ; and (3) twentieth century science from a twentieth century perspective (Mefisto). Of course, the tetralogy has appeared i n the context of the l a t e twentieth century, and so the distance from that perspective i n each of the above three categories i s one of degree rather than of kind. The matter of d e f i n i t i o n i s further complicated by the fact that Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton are household names, and conjure up modern science's forefathers. Not only does Banv i l l e have to confront the tremendous quantity of h i s t o r i c a l material on these men, but the reader, too, depending on his s c i e n t i f i c education, w i l l always f e e l a t h i r d presence between him and the f i c t i o n , the received notions of s c i e n t i f i c history. Perhaps t h i s very problem led B a n v i l l e to reduce the time and space spent on the h i s t o r i c a l figure in The Newton Letter. In Mefisto, he goes f u r t h e r by l e a v i n g i t open t o s p e c u l a t i o n whether or not G a b r i e l Swan, mathematical prodigy, i s a s u r r o g a t e E i n s t e i n or Godel. Whatever c o n c l u s i o n i s drawn, the movement from f i c t i o n a l biography t o f i c t i o n a l autobiography poses many qu e s t i o n s about the coherence of the t e t r a l o g y . I f B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y i s an extended endeavour t o c o l l a p s e the hard d i s t i n c t i o n s between the s c i e n t i f i c and a r t i s t i c mind, then i t i s important t h a t the w r i t e r debunk the n o t i o n t h a t s c i e n c e i s method, t h a t a s t r o n o m i c a l and mathematical d i s c o v e r i e s emerge from " o b j e c t i v e " and o r d e r l procedures. As o u t l i n e d above, the c o n c e n t r a t i o n on pure s c i e n c e i n the t e t r a l o g y moves us away from m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . 4 One commentator who has help e d t o s h i f t the focus on s c i e n c e t o more a r t i s t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i s Renee Weber (1986), who, a f t e r e xhaustive i n t e r v i e w s with the world's l e a d i n g s c i e n t i s t s , concludes t h a t the onl y way t o account f o r the presence of words such as "elegance" and "beauty" i n the s c i e n t i s t s ' w r i t i n g s i s by way of an i n t r i n s i c a e s t h e t i c demand. As Weber observes: A s i n g l e comprehensive law remains the c u r r e n t i d e a l . The d r i v e of s c i e n t i s t s t o achieve t h i s i d e a l cannot be " s c i e n t i f i c " i n the c o n v e n t i o n a l sense. I t seems c l o s e r t o an a e s t h e t i c demand, the sense t h a t u n i t y i s somehow t r u e r , more b e a u t i f u l and b e t t e r than m u l t i p l i c i t y . The s c i e n t i f i c d r i v e seems t o me t o border on P l a t o ' s v i s i o n t h a t the good, the t r u e , and the b e a u t i f u l are the f a b r i c of r e a l i t y . Such terms as "elegance" and "beauty" r e c u r r e g u l a r l y i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l s c i e n t i s t s l i k e E i n s t e i n , H e i s e n b e r g Eddington . . . P r i g o g i n e , Hawking, Sheldrake and o t h e r s . Behind the a e s t h e t i c demand, I b e l i e v e , 60 l i e s a s p i r i t u a l one. . . . I b e l i e v e t h a t at some i n t u i t i v e l e v e l of h i s awareness, the s c i e n t i s t senses t h a t nature i s simple, s u b t l e , i n t e r c o n n e c t e d , and one. Without t h i s i d e a or something l i k e i t , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o account f o r the way s c i e n t i f i c genius operates. (13) S i m i l a r l y , B a n v i l l e ' s works i l l u m i n a t e the f a c t t h a t the gr e a t astronomers s t r o v e f o r an harmonious system, one which i s h e r m e t i c a l l y s e a l e d , while aware t h a t t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e and i n t u i t i o n suggested the r e v e r s e . In t u r n , B a n v i l l e s t r e s s e s the importance of common, random, everyday experience i n o p p o s i t i o n t o any r a t i o n a l methodology. These experiences i n c l u d e f e e l i n g s and emotions. The author seems t o suggest t h a t pure i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m cannot succeed because i t r e l i e s on the imperfect t o o l of language to be communicated. A l s o , B a n v i l l e wishes t o i l l u s t r a t e the e x p e r i e n t i a l nature of a s c i e n t i f i c l i f e , and how such i n f l u e n c e s permeate the i n d i v i d u a l ' s work. To the l a t t e r p o i n t , the author has chosen the forms of biography and autobiography because they, too, are a b l e n d of genres or a b l e n d of two humanities: t h a t of the s u b j e c t ' s world and t h a t of the n a r r a t o r ' s world. The theme of the observer and the observed i s , of course, doubly r e l e v a n t f o r an astronomer's l i f e , as much of h i s time i s spent o b s e r v i n g and i n t e r p r e t i n g the past ( i t takes years f o r the l i g h t of s t a r s t o reach u s ) , j u s t as the biographer and autobiographer attempt t o shed " l i g h t " on the p a s t . A normal biography of an h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e must cover over many cra c k s with i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t o g i v e coherence. How 61 f a r t h i s a ct of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n should go i s an open q u e s t i o n , and at the c e n t r e of m e t a b i o g r a p h i c a l c r i t i c i s m . ^ I f we accept t h a t a biography i s t y p i c a l l y an account of an h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e of some achievement, u s u a l l y from b i r t h t o death, we can then d i s c e r n f o u r g e n e r a l kinds of b i o g r a p h i c a l w r i t i n g . My d i v i s i o n s are e x t e r n a l l y m o t i v a t e d r a t h e r than i n t e r n a l l y motivated. They are e l a b o r a t e d here (perhaps l a b o r i o u s l y ) only t o make the p o i n t t h a t the k i n d of b i o g r a p h i c a l form chosen by B a n v i l l e i s d e c i d e d l y s l i p p e r y when i t comes t o c a t e g o r i z a t i o n . The f i r s t k i n d we might d i s t i n g u i s h i s the biography w r i t t e n by a f r i e n d of the s u b j e c t i n a p e r s o n a l , though s e r i o u s , v e i n — " a n i n t i m a t e biography.". In t h i s category, we can p l a c e Boswell's Johnson and Moore's Sheridan. We read these b i o g r a p h i e s today with r e s e r v e because t h e r e i s q u i t e o b v i o u s l y a p e r s o n a l commitment t o h i s s u b j e c t by the prose b i o g r a p h e r which may i n t e r f e r e with the supposed o b j e c t i v i t y of the b i o g r a p h i c a l form, i n i t s a t t e n t i o n t o acc u r a t e d e t a i l . The two examples above are l i t e r a r y ones, but the same can be s a i d of many Times o b i t u a r i e s o f famous s c i e n t i s t s because they are u s u a l l y w r i t t e n by a f r i e n d or a s s o c i a t e of the deceased. The second k i n d of biography i s the most common, where a p r o s e — w r i t e r produces a biography of a f i g u r e whom he d i d not know p e r s o n a l l y . T h i s k i n d i s the one most e v i d e n t i n academic c i r c l e s , such as Ellmann's James Joyce (1959) and Oscar Wilde (1987). In the area of s c i e n c e , we have Frank 62 Manuel's A P o r t r a i t of Isaac Newton (1973) and R i c h a r d W e s t f a l l ' s Never at r e s t : a biography of Isaac Newton (1980). In a few cases, the academic—biographer i s able t o i n t e r v i e w people who d i d know h i s s u b j e c t . T h i s i s the case w i t h Ellmann's James Joyce. O v e r a l l , however, the emphasis i s on c h r o n o l o g i c a l n a r r a t i v e informed by the s u b j e c t ' s w r i t i n g s , and by reminiscences of f r i e n d s and a s s o c i a t e s a v a i l a b l e i n p r i n t , l e t t e r s , and o f f i c i a l documentation, such as s c h o o l , medical, and marriage c e r t i f i c a t e s . The b i o g r a p h e r ' s task, apart from amassing a c c u r a t e d e t a i l , i s t o d ecide what were the major formative i n f l u e n c e s at any g i v e n p e r i o d . Indeed, modern biographers seem t o develop a knack f o r a c h i e v i n g a u t h o r i t y i n t h i s area by sheer immersion i n t h e i r chosen p e r i o d . Paul M a r i a n i ' s p u r s u i t of W i l l i a m C a r l o s W i l l i a m s f o r h i s 1981 biography, f o r example, o f t e n became an i n t e l l e c t u a l game: I had a l r e a d y c o l l e c t e d thousands of such l e t t e r s and was b e g i n n i n g t o f i n d a c e r t a i n r e p e t i t i v e n e s s i n the p r o c e s s . I d e c i d e d at t h a t p o i n t t o p l a y a game with the new packets of m a t e r i a l which c r o s s e d my desk and, a f t e r l o o k i n g at the date of a l e t t e r , t r y to guess what the g e n e r a l contents of t h a t l e t t e r would be. I soon found t h a t I c o u l d guess f a i r l y a c c u r a t e l y a good p o r t i o n of the c o n t e n t s . (Meyers 134) In r e c e n t years, the c r i t i c a l biography among academics has become foremost, whereby chapters a l t e r n a t e between l i f e and 63 work. Michael Holquist's book on Bakhtin (1986) i s a good example of t h i s trend. The t h i r d kind of biography i s that constructed by a creative writer, with the d i s t i n c t intention of imagining a f i c t i o n a l figure i n history. The most pertinent novels must be Woolf's Orlando and Mann's Doctor Faustus• Mann's novel seems to be a parody of the f i r s t kind of biography and Woolf's of the second. Where Woolf's novel—biography has a l l the trappings of a scholarly work—acknowledgements and index, Mann's novel—biography (or autobiographical novel masquerading as a biographical novel) s t r i k e s one as of greater complexity because the narrator does not pretend as much as Boswell and Moore to keep a distance from his subject. In e f f e c t , Mann's narrator i s so powerful.that Doctor Faustus becomes his story rather than his subject's. In t h i s way, f i c t i o n and form become fused and possibly confused. With the fourth kind of biography, we can say that f i c t i o n , form, and fact are blended together consciously. This category, which includes Doctor Copernicus and Kepler, i s distinguished by a creative writer's use of a h i s t o r i c a l figure that he did not know. The f i c t i o n that welds the fact and form i n the f i r s t two kinds of biography i d e n t i f i e d above comes out of the closet, as i t were, and becomes an equal, or indeed superior, partner i n the r e t e l l i n g of a l i f e . In so doing, the f i c t i o n tinkers with chronological form, psychological analysis, and faithfulness to the facts 64 to help i n the matter of in t e r p r e t a t i o n . They are what I would c a l l "Superbiographies." I accept that these d i v i s i o n s can be undermined by pec u l i a r examples, such as Peter Ackroyd's biography, Dickens (1990), where a creative writer temporarily assumes the mantle of a serious academic prose writer (though even here Ackroyd includes imaginary conversations between himself as the novelist and Dickens). And whether or not a d i s t i n c t i o n has to be drawn between a "pure" biography (including a "chronicle") and a " c r i t i c a l " biography i s open to acrimonious debate. ^ However, I believe the four categories are p r a c t i c a l and usable subgenres to situate John Banville's work. Doctor Copernicus and Kepler have within t h e i r general, though at times p l a y f u l , t h i r d person narration (so t y p i c a l of a standard biography) certain f i r s t person indeterminacies—Rheticus's section, and the s t y l i z e d presentation of l e t t e r s , both of which are uneasily integrated i n the various narratives. It i s as i f Banv i l l e wishes to remind the reader that what he i s reading i s an int e r p r e t a t i o n of a l i f e , closer i n "essence" than a "true" or "scrupulous" account. By the same token, however, the general f a i t h f u l n e s s to the facts makes us wonder about those texts, such as Ellmann's James Joyce, and t h e i r perceived d e f i n i t i v e n e s s . On what grounds i s definitiveness established? Length (wealth of biographical d e t a i l ) ? Writing style? Access to more records (authorized versus 65 u n a u t h o r i z e d ) ? A more prominent p u b l i s h e r ? A s e d u c t i v e author p r o f i l e ? I t i s a c u r i o u s f a c t t h a t B a n v i l l e mentions the o t h e r "competing" b i o g r a p h i e s i n apparatus around h i s f i c t i o n s . In Doctor Copernicus the author remarks, "I name them a l s o as suggested f u r t h e r r e a d i n g f o r anyone see k i n g a f u l l e r and perhaps more s c r u p u l o u s l y f a c t u a l account of the astronomer's l i f e and work" (7). The use of the word "perhaps" i s t e a s i n g , immediately a s k i n g us t o take on t r u s t the m a j o r i t y , i f not a l l , of the " f a c t s " i n t h i s " n o v e l . " I t a l s o c a s t s a l i t t l e doubt on the " a u t h o r i t y " of these , " o t h e r " b i o g r a p h i e s , i n a r a t h e r Borgesian f a s h i o n . Whereas Doctor Copernicus and K e p l e r r a i s e problems co n c e r n i n g the p r e s e n t a t i o n of " o b j e c t i v e f a c t " i n a b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n , The Newton L e t t e r and M e f i s t o r a i s e problems co n c e r n i n g the p r e s e n t a t i o n of " s u b j e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e " i n an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n . The s h i f t i s one from n a r r a t o r — s u b j e c t — w o r l d to n a r r a t o r (as s u b j e c t ) — w o rld. T h i s i s more o b v i o u s l y t r u e of M e f i s t o than The  Newton L e t t e r because even i n t h a t s h o r t n o v e l l a , we have t o come t o terms with the n a r r a t o r ' s s u b j e c t , Newton, i n both f a c t u a l and f i c t i o n a l l e t t e r s . What k i n d of a u t o b i o g r a p h i e s are these two n o v e l s ? They are d i f f e r e n t f i r s t person d i s c o u r s e s . The Newton L e t t e r i s r e f r a c t e d through the memory of a s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i a n t r y i n g t o g rapple with h i s w r i t e r ' s b l o c k which c o i n c i d e s with a chapter on h i s s u b j e c t ' s (Newton) nervous breakdown i n 1693. M e f i s t o ' s n a r r a t o r i s a mathematical genius, who 66 c o u l d be seen as a contemporary E i n s t e i n or Godel. His t a l e i s a t r u e Bildungsroman, almost twice over (the two p a r t s of the n o v e l can be looked upon as two separate l i v e s ) . Whereas The Newton L e t t e r mainly r e s t r i c t s i t s e l f t e m p o r a l l y t o a few months i n the southwest of I r e l a n d and s p a t i a l l y t o events surrounding one B i g House, M e f i s t o ' s two s e c t i o n s appear t o switch from the country t o the c i t y and from G a b r i e l Swan's development from i n s i d e the womb t o age e i g h t e e n or so i n P a r t 1 t o a very s t a t i c t e m p o r a l i t y i n Part 2. C e r t a i n l y , the pretence of f a c t has mostly d i s a p p e a r e d i n the f i n a l two t e x t s of the t e t r a l o g y . However, they s t i l l concern s c i e n t i f i c and mathematical f i g u r e s w r e s t l i n g w i t h t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e s . I t i s t h i s o v e r a l l theme t h a t t i e s the t e t r a l o g y t ogether, s u g g e s t i n g t h a t i n the world of s o — c a l l e d e s t a b l i s h e d f a c t — - C o p e r n i c u s and K e p l e r — and s o — c a l l e d f i c t i o n — N e w t o n ' s biographer and G a b r i e l S wan—there i s a u n i f y i n g f o r c e or p r e o c c u p a t i o n . I I . M e t h o d o l o g i c a l Approaches I hope t h a t the d i s c u s s i o n above r e l a y s the complexity which the l i t e r a r y — c u m — c u l t u r a l c r i t i c has t o d e a l with i n B a n v i l l e ' s work. The task i s not i m p o s s i b l e , however, as l o n g as one accepts t h a t o v e r l a p p i n g methodologies may have t o be a p p l i e d f o r the t e t r a l o g y ' s r i c h n e s s t o be a p p r e c i a t e d . For t h i s reason, I see much value i n the w r i t i n g s of G e r a l d Holton, Thomas Kuhn, and A r t h u r K o e s t l e r The l a t t e r two are admitted by B a n v i l l e i n notes around h i s f i c t i o n s t o be major i n f l u e n c e s . G e r a l d Holton's The Thematic O r i g i n s of S c i e n t i f i c  Thought: K e p l e r t o E i n s t e i n (1988) i s deeply concerned with f i n d i n g the t h e o r e t i c a l framework w i t h i n which one can account f o r s c i e n t i f i c genius. Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t t o H o l t o n i s the " p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e " (a phrase a p p r o p r i a t e d from E i n s t e i n ) of a s c i e n t i s t i n the process of d i s c o v e r y . T h i s "nascent phase" or "science—in—the—making" ( d e f i n e d by Holton as the p e r i o d b e f o r e the t a b u l a t i o n of r e s u l t s and b e f o r e t h e i r announcement) i s the a r t i s t i c s i d e of s c i e n c e which Holton i s convinced e x i s t s but which i s o f t e n i g n o r e d or d e l i b e r a t e l y omitted from s c i e n t i f i c commentary. As Holton e x p l a i n s : Most of the [ s c i e n t i f i c ] p u b l i c a t i o n s are f a i r l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s , i m p l y i n g a s t o r y of step—by—step progress along f a i r l y l o g i c a l c h a i n s , with simple i n t e r p l a y s between experiment theory, and i n h e r i t e d concepts. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , however, t h i s i s not t r u e p r e c i s e l y of some of the most profound and most seminal work. There we are more l i k e l y t o see p l a i n l y the i l l o g i c a l , n o n l i n e a r , and t h e r e f o r e " i r r a t i o n a l " elements t h a t are juxtaposed t o the l o g i c a l nature of the concepts themselves. Cases abound t h a t g i v e evidence of the r o l e of " u n s c i e n t i f i c " p r e c o n c e p t i o n s , p a s s i o n a t e m o t i v a t i o n s , v a r i e t i e s of temperament, i n t u i t i v e l e a p s , s e r e n d i p i t y or sheer bad luck, not to speak of the i n c r e d i b l e t e n a c i t y with which c e r t a i n ideas have been h e l d d e s p i t e the f a c t they c o n f l i c t e d with the p l a i n e xperimental evidence, or the n e g l e c t of t h e o r i e s t h a t would have q u i c k l y s o l v e d an experimental p u z z l e . None of these elements f i t i n with the c o n v e n t i o n a l model of the s c i e n t i s t ; they seem 68 u n l i k e l y t o y i e l d t o r a t i o n a l study; and yet they p l a y a p a r t i n s c i e n t i f i c work. (8) T h i s confused s i t u a t i o n , u n s c i e n t i f i c i n the normal sense, has l e d Holton t o c o n s t r u c t nine g u i d e l i n e s f o r the s c h o l a r h i s t o r i a n o f s c i e n c e t o account f o r the uniqueness of s c i e n t i f i c genius. As a l i t e r a r y / c u l t u r a l c r i t i c o f a f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c b i o g r a p h i c a l t e t r a l o g y , I b e l i e v e these g u i d e l i n e s h e l p t o c o n s t r u c t s o l i d connections between a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c modes of t h i n k i n g and c r e a t i o n . What i s a l s o v a l u a b l e i n these g u i d e l i n e s i s t h a t they presume we are i n t e r e s t e d i n i n d i v i d u a l genius, not the teamwork which may be s a i d t o be the hallmark of modern (but perhaps mediocre) s c i e n c e . Holton p r o v i d e s nine g u i d e l i n e s t o ensure t h a t any r e d u c t i o n i s t argument may be o f f s e t . In e f f e c t , the n a r r a t o r s of B a n v i l l e ' s works are s c i e n t i f i c b i o g r a p h e r s and autobiographers who c o n s i d e r , perhaps u n c o n s c i o u s l y , the f o l l o w i n g g u i d e l i n e s important. The f i r s t g u i d e l i n e f o r the biog r a p h e r i s t o e s t a b l i s h what " f a c t s , " "techniques," and " t h e o r i e s " were c u r r e n t at the time of the s c i e n t i s t ' s d i s c o v e r i e s , both i n h i s own work and i n h i s contemporaries. For example, Copernicus had t o g r a p p l e with h i s contemporaries who h e l d Ptolemy's t h e o r y of the heavens s a c r o s a n c t . Second, the bi o g r a p h e r must e s t a b l i s h the temporal c o n t i n u i t i e s and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s o f ideas which are p e r t i n e n t t o the s c i e n t i s t ' s d i s c o v e r i e s . T h i s g u i d e l i n e i n c l u d e s antecedents and p a r a l l e l developments. For example, E i n s t e i n ' s " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " 69 R e l a t i v i t y paper of 1905 had i t s close antecedents (some would say p a r a l l e l development) in papers by Lorentz and Poincare i n 1904. 7 Third, the biographer must u t i l i z e the s c i e n t i s t ' s l e t t e r s , draft reports, and reminiscences, to look for the development of an unique idea. For example, Bernstein's biography of Ei n s t e i n (1973) highlights the merging of experiment and i n t u i t i o n by quoting from Einstein's writings. In 1940, Ei n s t e i n wrote: "Science without r e l i g i o n i s lame, r e l i g i o n without science i s b l i n d " (qtd. 21). Fourth, the biographer, i f he believes i n i n d i v i d u a l genius, should be able to to trace connections between the s c i e n t i s t ' s boyhood and his l a t e r achievements. For example, Bernstein finds i t s i g n i f i c a n t that i n Einstein's youth, the two most v i v i d impressions on him were (a) the fact that the compass needle always pointed north (a f a c t ) ; and (b) Euclidean geometry (a believable f i c t i o n ) . The merging of these two impressions and t h e i r development s t r i k e Bernstein as relevant to the progress of Einstein's thinking on r e l a t i v i t y . F i f t h , the biographer must stress the s c i e n t i s t ' s psychobiographical progress—how, for example, his public work grows out of his personality. The c l a s s i c case i s Kepler, whose manic s c i e n t i f i c writings dwell often more on his own mistakes than on his successes. ^ Sixth, the biographer must make allowances for the influence of p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l c o n f l i c t s i n his immediate environment. Ei n s t e i n appeared to dismiss p o l i t i c a l influences when he remarked that science d i d not 70 p r o g r e s s "somewhat l i k e the coups d'etat i n some of the s m a l l e r , u n s t a b l e r e p u b l i c s " (qtd. Holton 198). But a b i o g r a p h e r might beg t o d i f f e r . Seventh, the b i o g r a p h e r must be c l e a r about the i n f l u e n c e s upon the s c i e n t i s t which emanate from h i s s o c i a l s e t t i n g ( i n c l u d i n g h i s working c o n d i t i o n s and h i s c o l l e a g u e s ) and from the v a r i o u s l i n k s between s c i e n c e and p u b l i c p o l i c y . Kepler, f o r example, was undeniably i n f l u e n c e d by Tycho Brahe's r i g o r o u s b e l i e f i n o b s e r v a t i o n a l accuracy; and G a l i l e o s u f f e r e d from p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s bodies not yet ready to accept as p o l i c y h i s s c i e n t i f i c o b s e r v a t i o n s and t h e o r i e s . E i g h t h , the b i o g r a p h e r should seek out the p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions behind the p u b l i s h e d w r i t i n g s of the s c i e n t i f i c g e n ius. I f Weber i s c o r r e c t , most s c i e n t i f i c geniuses b e l i e v e t h a t t h e r e i s hidden beauty and order to the world. Ninth, the b i o g r a p h e r should e s t a b l i s h and analyse the s c i e n t i s t ' s p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s . For example, i t i s u s e f u l t o know t h a t Newton b e l i e v e d t h a t a l l a b s o l u t e s of space and time were t o be found i n God. Therefore, c e r t a i n q u e s t i o n s need not be asked or w o r r i e d about. Holton i s wise enough to accept t h a t any l i s t such as the one above has elements of a r t i f i c i a l i t y and o v e r l a p p i n g s c e n a r i o s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , such g u i d e l i n e s make us understand more f u l l y the d i f f i c u l t task of B a n v i l l e ' s n a r r a t o r s i n d e p i c t i n g genius, both i n mainly b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n (Doctor Copernicus and Kepler) and i n a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l f i c t i o n (The Newton L e t t e r and M e f i s t o ) . For Holton, 71 e s t a b l i s h i n g genius can be reduced t o d i s c e r n i n g the major g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s of an i n d i v i d u a l s c i e n t i s t . Once we have found these p r i n c i p l e s , we can b e t t e r grasp h i s genius. Holton p r o v i d e s a good, g e n e r a l framework w i t h i n which we can, as c r i t i c s of B a n v i l l e ' s work, c l e a r l y see t h a t p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l f a c t o r s , l o o s e l y d e f i n e d , are q u i n t e s s e n t i a l t o understanding s c i e n t i f i c genius. L e s t i t be thought t h a t i n r e a l l i f e , s u b j e c t i v e concerns do not s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t s c i e n t i f i c " p r o gress," we have on l y t o look at Max Planck's S c i e n t i f i c Autobiography (1949) . Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , B a n v i l l e r e f e r s t o t h i s s c i e n t i s t , though i n a f i c t i o n a l c o n t e x t . ^ Planck r e l a t e s many p e r s o n a l b a t t l e s t o have h i s t h e o r i e s on entropy and thermodynamics accepted, and concludes with the wisdom of a sage (and i n words compatible with the l a t e r t h e o r i e s of Kuhn): "A new s c i e n t i f i c t r u t h does not triumph by c o n v i n c i n g i t s opponents and making them see the l i g h t , but r a t h e r because i t s opponents e v e n t u a l l y d i e , and a new g e n e r a t i o n grows up t h a t i s f a m i l i a r with i t " (33—4). The s t r u g g l e f o r r e c o g n i t i o n a l s o b e d e v i l s B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus and K e p l e r . To e s t a b l i s h the s p e c i f i c p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l development, I spend much time i n my chapters d e a l i n g with the i n f l u e n c e s of c o l l e a g u e s , f r i e n d s , and f a m i l y upon the p r o t a g o n i s t (as s c i e n t i s t as w e l l as f i c t i o n a l h e r o ) . B a n v i l l e ' s n a r r a t o r s seem t o probe f u r t h e r than Holton's i n i t i a l e x c a v a t i o n s . Not only i s " s c i e n c e — i n — t h e — making" e x p l o r e d but a l s o the process of j u s t i f i c a t i o n and 72 v e r i f i c a t i o n of theory i n the s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , and r e l i g i o u s realm. Recent reviews of Holton's new e d i t i o n (1988) of h i s 1973 book p o i n t t o t h i s g l a r i n g absence: Holton t r e a t s the themata as o p e r a t i n g mainly at the stage of " s c i e n c e i n the making," when the s c i e n t i s t i s engaged i n a p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e t o produce h i s or her i d e a s . Once s c i e n c e i s p u b l i c l y a v a i l a b l e and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n books and j o u r n a l s , h i s a n a l y s i s has l e s s r e l e v a n c e . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between the p r i v a t e and p u b l i c worlds of s c i e n c e can be t r a c e d back to another well—known l o g i c a l e m p i r i c i s t d o c t r i n e — t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between the context of d i s c o v e r y and the context of j u s t i f i c a t i o n . Many p h i l o s o p h e r s of s c i e n c e have h e l d t h a t i t matters not one i o t a where s c i e n t i s t s get t h e i r d i s c o v e r i e s from, the important t h i n g being the r a t i o n a l p r o c e s s whereby s c i e n t i f i c ideas can be e v a l u a t e d and j u s t i f i e d . By l i m i t i n g themata to the d i s c o v e r y phase of s c i e n c e , Holton has i m p l i c i t l y endorsed t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n . Although s c i e n c e i s l i k e the a r t s and humanities, i t i s so only i n i t s p r o c e s s of c r e a t i o n . The i r o n y i s t h a t the changes i n our understanding of s c i e n c e which Holton's work has helped p r o v i d e , l i e p r e c i s e l y i n the breakdown of these o l d d i s t i n c t i o n s . The s o c i o l o g y of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge i n p a r t i c u l a r has been extended to the context of j u s t i f i c a t i o n , so t h a t the mathematical, l o g i c a l and e m p i r i c a l aspects of s c i e n c e can now be a l l understood as b e i n g s o c i a l l y mediated or c o n s t r u c t e d . . . . How matters of experimental f a c t are s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d i s today one of the c e n t r a l concerns of s c i e n c e s t u d i e s . Holton uses h i s d e t a i l e d c a s e — s t u d i e s to show the i n f l u e n c e of i d e a s on s c i e n t i s t s and to search f o r p r e c u r s o r s t o the emergence of the ideas of f i g u r e s such as A l b e r t E i n s t e i n and Bohr. A more modern concern would be t o t r y to show how the experimental and t h e o r e t i c a l v e r s i o n s of the world c o n s t r u c t e d by Bohr and E i n s t e i n were themselves shaped, endorsed and n e g o t i a t e d i n the s o c i a l realm. (Pinch 1988: 18) 73 One suspects t h a t B a n v i l l e has chanced upon t h i s debate which i s now at the f o r e f r o n t of c r i t i c a l work on the h i s t o r y of s c i e n c e , by the very f a c t t h a t f i c t i o n bears an uncanny resemblance t o the way t h a t c e r t a i n g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s are supported i n the r e a l world, what P i n c h sees as " v e r s i o n s of the world." T h i s p o i n t seems confirmed i n Doctor Copernicus when Emperor A l b r e c h t (who d e a l s w i t h the r e a l world) t e l l s N i c o l a s (who would p r e f e r t o d e a l with the a b s t r a c t world of theory) t h a t what they share as geniuses i s the making of "supreme f i c t i o n s " (149). I n d u b i t a b l y , what B a n v i l l e t r i e s t o g i v e us i n Doctor Copernicus and Ke p l e r are " s u p e r b i o g r a p h i e s " which attempt t o f a l s i f y as few f a c t s as p o s s i b l e and to c r e a t e f i c t i o n between the g e n e r a l l y accepted norms. In t h i s way, f i c t i o n and f a c t , a r t and s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r y are indeed fused. Perhaps t h i s i n e v i t a b l e merging can be i l l u s t r a t e d by a b r i e f look at one of B a n v i l l e ' s sources, F r e d Hoyle's N i c o l a s Copernicus (1973). Hoyle, a P r o f e s s o r of Science, admits t o e n t e r i n g u n w i l l i n g l y i n t o the a r t i s t i c / i n t e r p r e t a t i v e / s u b j e c t i v e aspect of h i s ta s k when f a c e d by Copernicus's biography: I t appeared worth while t o add the b i o g r a p h i c a l s k e t c h of Chapter 11. In the outcome t h i s s k e t c h has caused me some d i f f i c u l t y . My f i r s t i d e a was t o a b s t r a c t from standard b i o g r a p h i e s the aspects of the l i f e of Copernicus which seemed r e l e v a n t t o h i s a s t r o n o m i c a l achievements. A f t e r c o n s u l t i n g such accounts, of which the t h r e e volumes by Leopold Prowe (Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, B e r l i n (1883—4) are the most complete, I found myself 74 unable t o answer c e r t a i n simple and p e r t i n e n t  q u e s t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g the  p e r i o d s when the a c t u a l a s t r o n o m i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s  were made. I a l s o found aspects of these accounts  which I f e l t t o be i m p l a u s i b l e , at any r a t e from the p o i n t of view of the working s c i e n t i s t . T h i s i n e v i t a b l y l e d me i n t o i s s u e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which I would much have p r e f e r r e d t o av o i d , (vi) *® [my i t a l i c s ] Hoyle r a i s e s two p r o b l e m a t i c areas: the date of the composition of Commentariplus (pre—1512 or post—1530?). and the n i n e t e e n t h century d i s c o v e r y t h a t De R e v o l u t i o n i b u s was not p r i n t e d from Copernicus's own manuscript but from a copy, which Hoyle assumes t o be by R h e t i c u s . B a n v i l l e ' s own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n f o l l o w s Hoyle's s u p p o s i t i o n s t h a t the Commentariolus was mostly w r i t t e n and p u b l i s h e d post—1530 and t h a t R h e t i c u s i s the author of the p r i n t e r ' s copy. B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n here thus s o l i d i f i e s an " o f f i c i a l " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , but n e v e r t h e l e s s s t r a y s from Hoyle where, presumably, B a n v i l l e f e l t t h a t c e r t a i n " f a c t s " do not f i t i n with h i s v i s i o n of the man. Assumptions and s u p p o s i t i o n s are b e l i e v a b l e f i c t i o n s , of course. They h e l p t o d e l i v e r a robust image of our s c i e n t i f i c geniuses. For example, the r e a l mother of Copernicus, a c c o r d i n g t o Hoyle, d i d not d i e u n t i l the son was near t h i r t y , but i n the novel she d i e s d u r i n g the boy's e a r l y y e a r s ; and where Hoyle s p e c u l a t e s t h a t Rheticus d i d not have time t o w r i t e a p r e f a c e f o r Copernicus's main work (to e x p l a i n the absence of R h e t i c u s ' s name from the acknowledgements), B a n v i l l e i n t r o d u c e s a dose of homosexual scandal as h i s v e r s i o n of 7 5 i n t e r p r e t a t i v e s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r y , r e l a y e d p o w e r f u l l y by the s h i f t t o the f i r s t person n a r r a t i o n of R h e t i c u s . I t i s tempting t o say t h a t B a n v i l l e d i v e r g e s from the " o r i g i n " of Hoyle, but i t would be more ac c u r a t e t o say t h a t B a n v i l l e and Hoyle see themselves as i n v o l v e d i n the matter of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , where d i f f e r e n c e s of k i n d and degree between t h e i r w r i t i n g s become b l u r r e d . I am sure i t would be p o s s i b l e t o e x p l a i n the absence of R h e t i c u s ' s name from the De R e v o l u t i o n i b i s i n terms of r e l i g i o n : would i t be h e l p f u l f o r a P r o t e s t a n t (Rheticus) t o uphold the c o n t r o v e r s i a l work of a C a t h o l i c (Copernicus)? N e i t h e r B a n v i l l e nor Hoyle even e n t e r t a i n s t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as v a l i d or u s e f u l t o h i s s c i e n t i f i c biography of Copernicus. B a n v i l l e ' s "divergences" from Hoyle hinge on p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t are c r u c i a l t o the f i c t i o n a l C o p e r n i c u s . Hoyle e x p l a i n s t h a t Copernicus became a do c t o r of medicine probably because h i s mother was i l l . However, B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus seems t o t u r n t o medicine, f i r s t l y , under the i n f l u e n c e of h i s Uncle Bishop, and, secondly, under the s p i r i t u a l i n f l u e n c e (though he wishes t o deny i t ) of h i s homosexual l o v e r Girolamo. Copernicus d e l i b e r a t e l y d i s t a n c e s h i m s e l f from h i s f r i e n d - t o f u r t h e r h i s ca r e e r , but i s l a t e r t o take up h i s p r o f e s s i o n as i f i n atonement. T h i s homosexual bond, and I r e a l i z e t h i s i s a c o n t e n t i o u s p o i n t , would not have been as s t r o n g i f the mother were allowed t o l i v e l o n g e r i n the f i c t i o n . The importance of Copernicus's homosexuality and h i s a v e r s i o n t o women w i l l be taken up 76 f u r t h e r i n chapter two. S u f f i c e i t here t o say t h a t h i s sexu a l i n c l i n a t i o n i s a necessary " a r t i s t i c , " " s u b j e c t i v e " and " e x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c " f o r c e which pushes Copernicus t o a g r e a t e r understanding of h i s own l i f e and of i t s connections to the work he c r e a t e s . By the same token, the p o s s i b l e d i s g r a c e o f Rhe t i c u s by h i s homosexual a c t i v i t i e s w i t h a boy, Raphael, p a r t l y e x p l a i n s some of the d i s c r e p a n c i e s o u t l i n e d by Hoyle, and g i v e s B a n v i l l e an o p p o r t u n i t y yet again t o underscore the f a c t t h a t s c i e n t i s t ' s works are o f t e n s t r u c t u r e d by such " i n v i s i b l e " s u b j e c t i v e and p e r s o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . Of course, R h e t i c u s ' s n a r r a t i v e f i n a l l y denies the e x i s t e n c e of a homosexual scandal, but g i v e n the u n r e l i a b i l i t y of h i s " c o n f e s s i o n " when i t dwe l l s on h i s own l i f e (as d i s t i n c t from C o p e r n i c u s ' s ) , we suspect the homosexuality i s r e a l w i t h i n the novel's system. An a p p r e c i a t i o n of g e n e r a l p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l elements i s t h e r e f o r e important t o our understanding of the t e t r a l o g y ' s v i s i o n of s c i e n c e . But as has been i n d i c a t e d e a r l i e r , of more s p e c i f i c r e l e v a n c e t o B a n v i l l e ' s heroes are the t h e o r i e s of Thomas Kuhn on s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. We w i l l r e c a l l t h a t the l a t t e r are d e f i n e d as " u n i v e r s a l l y r e c o g n i z e d s c i e n t i f i c achievements t h a t f o r a time p r o v i d e model problems and s o l u t i o n s t o a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s " (Kuhn v i i i ) . T h i s statement, i n g e n e r a l terms, sounds s u s p i c i o u s l y l i k e C. P. Snow's d e f i n i t i o n of c u l t u r e , d i s c u s s e d above. The s c i e n t i f i c genius i s the one who breaks t h a t c i r c l e , who dares t o c r e a t e a new paradigm. 77 B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus worries about the p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s work because i t i m p l i e s the n e c e s s i t y of s h i f t i n g paradigms, from a sun—centred to an e a r t h — c e n t r e d u n i v e r s e . Copernicus i s concerned about the p o l i t i c a l and t h e o l o g i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s of such a s h i f t . Kuhn argues t h a t i f one accepts t h a t s c i e n c e i s not advanced by accumulation, by l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s i o n , then h i s t o r i a n s f a c e a m e t h o d o l o g i c a l c r i s i s , one way out of which i s t o champion a s c i e n t i s t ' s " p r i o r e x p e r i e n c e i n other f i e l d s , . . . the a c c i d e n t s of h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and . . . h i s own i n d i v i d u a l makeup" (4). Kuhn makes the e x c e l l e n t p o i n t t h a t when anomalies i n s c i e n t i f i c experiments become u n d i s m i s s i b l e , a new s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y i s c o n s t r u c t e d t o accommodate them. Normal s c i e n c e t o Kuhn i s i n v o l v e d i n "mopping—up o p e r a t i o n s " (24), on the p e r i p h e r y of an accepted paradigm, whereas r e v o l u t i o n a r y s c i e n c e r e f u s e s t o be p u z z l e — s o l v i n g or d e v i s e d by method. Examples abound, of course, to prove t h i s c o n t e n t i o n : "The f i r s t X— Rays, i s a c l a s s i c case of d i s c o v e r y through a c c i d e n t , a type t h a t occurs more f r e q u e n t l y than the impersonal standards of s c i e n t i f i c r e p o r t i n g allow us e a s i l y t o r e c o g n i z e " (Kuhn 57). Kuhn t h e o r i z e s a paradigm's d e v e l o p m e n t — t h a t anomaly awareness i s f o l l o w e d by a r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of o b s e r v a t i o n a l and c o n c e p t u a l data which,. i n t u r n , i s used t o c r e a t e a new t h e o r y while r e s i s t a n c e i s e x p e r i e n c e d from c o l l e a g u e s and the s c i e n t i s t ' s own r a t i o n a l i t y . Kuhn s t r e s s e s - t h e importance of the 78 s c i e n t i s t s ' " f l a s h e s of i n t u i t i o n " (123) i n paradigm f o r m a t i o n . These n o t i o n s of c r e a t i v i t y and i n t u i t i o n are taken up f o r c e f u l l y by A r t h u r K o e s t l e r not j u s t i n The  Sleepwalkers (1959) but i n The Act of C r e a t i o n (1964). 1 1 Although B a n v i l l e acknowledges The Sleepwalkers i n notes around h i s f i c t i o n s as a major i n f l u e n c e on h i s approach t o Copernicus and Kepler, I b e l i e v e the core of K o e s t l e r ' s thought i s best found i n The Act of C r e a t i o n which, i n t u r n , informs B a n v i l l e ' s treatment of h i s s c i e n t i f i c heroes. In t h i s book, K o e s t l e r argues s i m i l a r l y t o Kuhn t h a t s c i e n t i f i c "progress i s n e i t h e r continuous nor cumulative i n the s t r i c t sense. I f i t were continuous, t h e r e would be no " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " d i s c o v e r i e s , no d i s c a r d i n g of d i s c r e d i t e d t h e o r i e s and sudden changes of d i r e c t i o n " (249). Copernicanism, f o r example, was an id e a t h a t had t o wait f o r i t s proponents t o develop i t . T h i s o b s e r v a t i o n leads K o e s t l e r t o examine, as f a r as p o s s i b l e , the exact nature of the c r e a t i v e and i n t u i t i o n i s t impulse behind such r e v o l u t i o n s . Many of these i n t u i t i o n s emerge not by God—given powers but by p e r i o d s of long, p r i o r r e s e a r c h , i n t e r r u p t e d by a h i a t u s , a f t e r which the i n s p i r a t i o n comes. While the conscious mind and body are otherwise occupied the unconscious mind i s c o n s t a n t l y p u z z l i n g s c i e n t i f i c problems. As K o e s t l e r ' s r e s e a r c h r e v e a l s : E i n s t e i n has r e p o r t e d t h a t h i s profound g e n e r a l i z a t i o n c o nnecting space and time o c c u r r e d t o him while he was s i c k i n bed. 79 Descartes i s s a i d t o have made h i s d i s c o v e r i e s w h ile l y i n g i n bed i n the morning and both Cannon and Poincare r e p o r t having got b r i g h t i d e a s when l y i n g i n bed unable t o s l e e p . (211) What s e t s the s c i e n t i s t on h i s p u z z l i n g i s the awareness of anomaly or d i s c r e p a n c y (as Kuhn a l s o s u g g e s t s ) . To K o e s t l e r , K e p l e r i s an e x c e l l e n t case i n p o i n t . That s c i e n t i s t s e i z e d the unusual e i g h t minutes of arc , l e f t u n r e s o l v e d i n Copernicus's c y c l i c a l and e p i c y c l i c a l u n i v e r s a l system, and based a whole new s c i e n c e on t h a t " l o p s i d e d n e s s . " By b r i n g i n g p h y s i c s and astronomy t o g e t h e r at a s p e c i f i c time, K o e s t l e r ' s r e a d i n g of K e p l e r e x e m p l i f i e s the c r e a t i v e impulse, one which emanates from chance and r i p e n e s s . K o e s t l e r e x p l a i n s t h a t i n t u i t i v e d i s c o v e r i e s are a c t u a l l y a balance of l i n e a r e v o l u t i o n (ripeness) and n o n l i n e a r a c t i v i t y (chance). In t h i s sense, he would i n c l u d e Gutenberg's i n v e n t i o n of p r i n t i n g , K e p l e r ' s s y n t h e s i s of astronomy and p h y s i c s , and Darwin's the o r y of e v o l u t i o n by n a t u r a l s e l e c t i o n . In a d d i t i o n , Copernicus's paradigm s h i f t was not a r e v o l u t i o n i n h i s l i f e t i m e , s i n c e r i p e n e s s — t o use K o e s t l e r ' s t e r m — h a d not yet o c c u r r e d . T h i s p rocess of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y has i t s own beauty and elegance and has, t h e r e f o r e , c e r t a i n a r t i s t i c resemblances. As K o e s t l e r laments: The c r e a t i v e achievements of the s c i e n t i s t l a c k the 'audience appeal' of the a r t i s t ' s f o r s e v e r a l reasons b r i e f l y m e n t i o n e d — t e c h n i c a l jargon, 80 a n t i q u a t e d t e a c h i n g methods, c u l t u r a l p r e j u d i c e . The boredom c r e a t e d by these f a c t o r s has accentuated the a r t i f i c i a l f r o n t i e r s between continuous domains of c r e a t i v i t y . (267) K o e s t l e r a l s o emphasizes the importance of dream as p a r t of the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . Dreams are. v i s u a l and p r e — v e r b a l , whereas "language can become a screen which stands between the t h i n k e r and r e a l i t y . T h i s i s the reason why t r u e c r e a t i v i t y o f t e n s t a r t s where language ends" (177) . These words are echoed by B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus's views on the value of h i s w r i t i n g s i n r e l a t i o n t o r e a l i t y , and of B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r ' s views on the importance of h i s dreams. Both of these examples are taken up more thor o u g h l y i n chapters two and t h r e e . D r e a m — i n t u i t i o n s are, of course, s t r o n g arguments f o r p r i o r k n o w l e d g e — t h a t we have the answers t o a l l our questions, but they are l a t e n t and r a r e l y m a n i f e s t themselves. What Kuhn c a l l s a paradigm, K o e s t l e r c a l l s a " c o l l e c t i v e matrix of a s c i e n c e " (239). But both are i n agreement t h a t the r e v o l u t i o n a r y s c i e n t i s t i s the one who breaks an e x i s t i n g model by seeking out i t s flaws and who then goes on t o formulate a new model around t h a t flaw's base. Both Kuhn and K o e s t l e r c o n s i d e r o b j e c t i v e v e r i f i c a t i o n a p r o b l e m a t i c area. As K o e s t l e r puts i t : V e r i f i a b i l i t y i s a matter of degrees, and n e i t h e r the a r t i s t , nor the s c i e n t i s t who t r i e s t o break new ground, can hope ever t o achieve a b s o l u t e c e r t a i n t y . (214) 81 Indeed, K o e s t l e r c i t e s K a r l Popper, who had come t o s i m i l a r c o n c l u s i o n s : The o l d s c i e n t i f i c i d e a l of e p i s t e m e — o f a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n , demonstrable knowledge—has proved t o be an i d o l . The demand f o r s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y makes i t i n e v i t a b l e t h a t every s c i e n t i f i c statement must remain t e n t a t i v e f o r  ever. I t may indeed be c o r r o b o r a t e d , but every c o r r o b o r a t i o n i s r e l a t i v e t o other statements which, again, are t e n t a t i v e . Only i n our s u b j e c t i v e experiences of c o n v i c t i o n , i n our s u b j e c t i v e f a i t h , can we be ' a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n . ' [Popper's i t a l i c s ] (Popper 280; q t d . K o e s t l e r 246) While i t may appear a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n terms t o t a l k of " s u b j e c t i v e f a i t h " as " a b s o l u t e l y c e r t a i n , " i t appears t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s s c i e n t i s t s (and K o e s t l e r and Kuhn) would champion such a n o t i o n , at l e a s t i n the act of d i s c o v e r y or H o l t o n i a n " s cience—in—the—making." Popper holds t h a t " s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i e s are never f u l l y j u s t i f i a b l e or v e r i f i a b l e , but t h a t they are n e v e r t h e l e s s t e s t a b l e " (Popper 44). What i s s t r i k i n g i n r e v i e w i n g Holton, Kuhn, and K o e s t l e r i s t h a t the modern r e v o l u t i o n a r y s c i e n c e of Chaos seems t o f i t very e a s i l y with n o t i o n s of i n t u i t i o n , dream, biography, r i p e n e s s , and chance. James G l e i c k ' s Chaos:  Making A New Science (1987) co n c e n t r a t e s j u s t as much on biography as on i d e a s . G l e i c k e l e v a t e s one of the new t h e o r y ' s proponents, mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. The p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l f a c t o r s of Mandelbrot's development are r e l a y e d i n d e t a i l , thereby c o n f i r m i n g t h a t r e v o l u t i o n a r y s c i e n c e emerges from unusual i n d i v i d u a l s , not teams of s c i e n t i s t s : B e n oit Mandelbrot i s best understood as a refugee. He was born i n Warsaw i n 1924 t o a L i t h u a n i a n Jewish f a m i l y , h i s f a t h e r a c l o t h i n g w h o l e s a l e r , h i s mother a d e n t i s t . A l e r t t o g e o p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y , the f a m i l y moved t o P a r i s i n 1 9 3 6 , drawn i n p a r t by the presence of Mandelbrot's u n c l e , Szolem Mandelbrojt [ s i c ] , a mathematician. When the war came, the f a m i l y stayed j u s t ahead of the N a z i s once again, abandoning e v e r y t h i n g but a few s u i t c a s e s and j o i n i n g the stream of refugees who clogged the roads south from P a r i s . They f i n a l l y reached the town of T u l l e . For a while Benoit went around as an a p p r e n t i c e toolmaker, dangerously conspicuous by h i s h e i g h t and h i s educated background.. I t was a time of u n f o r g e t t a b l e s i g h t s and f e a r s , yet l a t e r he r e c a l l e d l i t t l e p e r s o n a l hardship, remembering i n s t e a d the times he was b e f r i e n d e d i n T u l l e and elsewhere by s c h o o l t e a c h e r s , some of them d i s t i n g u i s h e d s c h o l a r s , themselves s t r a n d e d by the war. In a l l , h i s s c h o o l i n g was i r r e g u l a r and d i s c o n t i n u o u s . He claimed never t o have l e a r n e d the alphabet or, more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , m u l t i p l i c a t i o n t a b l e s past the f i v e s . S t i l l , he had a g i f t . (87) What d i s t i n g u i s h e s chaos as a theory i s i t s f u s i n g of mathematics or numbers with geometry v i a computer m o d e l l i n g . Benoit Mandelbrot's most famous work i s The F r a c t a l Geometry of Nature (1983). He c l e a r l y f o l l o w s the model of c r e a t i v i t y and paradigm change o u t l i n e d by K o e s t l e r and Kuhn as w e l l as the i n d i v i d u a l i s m so p r i z e d by H o l t o n . In the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o h i s book, Mandelbrot w r i t e s : Many of these i l l u s t r a t i o n s are of shapes t h a t had never been c o n s i d e r e d p r e v i o u s l y , but others r e p r e s e n t known c o n s t r u c t s , o f t e n f o r the f i r s t time. Indeed, while f r a c t a l geometry as such dates from 1975, many of i t s t o o l s and concepts had been p r e v i o u s l y developed, f o r d i v e r s e purposes a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t from mine. Through o l d stones i n s e r t e d i n the newly b u i l t s t r u c t u r e , f r a c t a l geometry was able t o "borrow" e x c e p t i o n a l l y e x t e n s i v e r i g o r o u s f o u n d a t i o n s , and soon l e d to many com p e l l i n g new q u e s t i o n s i n mathematics. N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h i s work pursues n e i t h e r a b s t r a c t i o n nor g e n e r a l i t y f o r i t s own sake, and i s n e i t h e r a textbook nor a t r e a t i s e i n mathematics. Des p i t e i t s l e n g t h , I d e s c r i b e i t as a s c i e n t i f i c Essay [ s i c ] because i t i s w r i t t e n from a p e r s o n a l p o i n t of view and without attempting completeness. A l s o , l i k e many Essays, i t tends to d i g r e s s i o n s and i n t e r r u p t i o n s . . . . T h i s Essay b r i n g s t o g e t h e r a number of analyses i n d i v e r s e s c i e n c e s , and i t promotes a new mathematical and p h i l o s o p h i c a l s y n t h e s i s . Thus i t serves as both a casebook and a m anifesto. Furthermore, i t r e v e a l s a t o t a l l y new world of p l a s t i c beauty. (2) The i n f u s i o n of the s u b j e c t i n t o s c i e n c e , the importance of the i n d i v i d u a l genius, and the b e l i e f i n beauty, p l a s t i c or not, comes a c r o s s c l e a r l y i n Mandelbrot's d e s c r i p t i o n . U n s u r p r i s i n g l y , Mandelbrot's book i n c l u d e s d e t a i l e d b i o g r a p h i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l "sketches" t o h e l p e x p l a i n c o m p l i c a t e d t h e o r i e s . A l l of t h i s makes B a n v i l l e ' s M e f i s t o so i n t e r e s t i n g as a t e x t which appears, i f not i n f l u e n c e d by such i d e a s , at l e a s t a concurrent d i s c o u r s e w i t h them. But again, i t would be mistaken to r e s t r i c t a n a l y s i s of M e f i s t o or any other t e t r a l o g y t e x t t o i n f l u e n c e study and t o a common d i s c o u r s e between s c i e n c e and a r t , because t h e r e i s a l s o the c e n t r a l t h e s i s t h a t s c i e n t i f i c knowledge i s p a r t l y a s o c i a l (and f i c t i o n a l ) c o n s t r u c t . Experimental f a c t s and t h e o r i e s have to be s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d . T h i s n e g o t i a t i o n , 84 and how paradigm s h i f t s complicate that process, are explored i n the following chapters. Notes to Chapter Two 1 This may be what Banville meant when he stated i n a book review, "Perhaps we need less [sic] nov e l i s t s and more writers." See "It i s Only a Novel" (1977: 23). ^ The rhet o r i c of s c i e n t i f i c texts i s rigorously dissected by Judith Segal i n her unpublished Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n (1988). 3 Snow i s anticipated by David Lindsay Watson i n his book S c i e n t i s t s Are Human (1938) who argues for science to be defined as "simply a l l humanly s i g n i f i c a n t knowledge" (236). ^ This has not, of course, stopped many books appearing dealing with science as synonymous with method. A s t e l l a r example i s Carlo Lastrucci's The S c i e n t i f i c Approach: Basic  P r i n c i p l e s of the S c i e n t i f i c Method (1967). Thirty years e a r l i e r David Lindsay Watson, c i t e d above, warned of the s o c i a l repercussions of such an approach to science, which were to be r e a l i z e d by the Second World War. ^ See, for example, Ira Nadel's Biography: F i c t i o n , Fact and  Form (1984) . ^ See Hayden White's discussion on t h i s point i n M i t c h e l l (1980). 7 See Holton (1988), pp. 197-201. 8 See Holton (1988), pp. 53-54. ^ Doctor Copernicus, 208. The notes, presumably the author's, at the end of the f i r s t e d i t i o n (244) ref e r erroneously to s p e c i f i c page numbers i n the text. In his preface to Doctor Copernicus, Ban v i l l e repeats Arthur Koestler's error i n r e f e r r i n g to "Ludwig" Prowe. It should also be c l a r i f i e d that Prowe's work i s divided into two parts but published i n three volumes. 86 1 1 The work on c r e a t i v i t y i s va s t , but c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n s are agreed upon. One p o s i t i o n i s t h a t c r e a t i v i t y r e s i d e s i n one person at a s p e c i f i c time. An a l t e r n a t i v e view, but not e x c l u s i v e of the f i r s t , i s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t i v i t y i s on l y one p a r t of a system of s o c i a l networks. For a u s e f u l d i s c u s s i o n of these v a r i o u s p o s i t i o n s , see S t e r n b e r g (1988) . 87 Chapter Three A S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t : Doctor Copernicus John B a n v i l l e ' s Doctor Copernicus i s a n o v e l r e p l e t e with i d e a s . I t i s a l s o a f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c biography of one of the most important f i g u r e s i n the h i s t o r y of s c i e n c e . D e s p i t e some n a r r a t i v e d i v e r s i o n s , i t i s c h r o n o l o g i c a l . The f i r s t two s e c t i o n s of the novel cover the astronomer's l i f e up t o age s i x t y — s i x or thereabouts. A t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n dominates (though not completely) these two s e c t i o n s . There then f o l l o w s the f i r s t person d i s c o u r s e of R h e t i c u s , who c o n t i n u e s the n a r r a t i v e and confirms a number of our impressions about the l i f e of the g r e a t man h i n t e d at i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n s . The novel ends with a f o u r t h s e c t i o n , devoted s o l e l y t o the day of the astronomer's death. T h i s s e c t i o n i s mediated i n the t h i r d person. Each s e c t i o n p r o v i d e s us with i n s u f f i c i e n t knowledge t o c h a r a c t e r i z e f u l l y the f i g u r e of Copernicus. Each s e c t i o n does, however, pose one of the major q u e s t i o n s of John B a n v i l l e ' s s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y : To what v a r y i n g degrees do experiment, experience, and i n t u i t i o n account, r e s p e c t i v e l y , f o r the c o m p l e x i t i e s of the world as p e r c e i v e d by human beings i n g e n e r a l and s c i e n t i s t s i n p a r t i c u l a r ? B a n v i l l e i n t e r r o g a t e s the h i s t o r y , the p o l i t i c s , and the r e l i g i o u s wars surrounding N i c o l a s C o p e r n i c u s . To some extent, a l l h i s t o r i c a l and b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s do t h i s . What d i s t i n g u i s h e s B a n v i l l e i s h i s t r a n s f e r e n c e of these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s t o s c i e n t i f i c c r e a t i v i t y and s u b j e c t matter. To e x p l a i n a genius l i k e Copernicus, B a n v i l l e d w e l l s upon the thorny i s s u e of " s u b j e c t i v i t y " i n s c i e n c e . For B a n v i l l e " s u b j e c t i v i t y " i s d e f i n e d not so much as the dominance of Copernicus' p o i n t of view i n h i s t h e o r i z i n g , but by the g r e a t s c i e n t i s t ' s a c t i v e , though o f t e n u n w i t t i n g , use of " e x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t o r s , which are absorbed i n t o the " I , i n h i s t h e o r e t i c a l s c i e n c e proper. These " e x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t o r s comprise (a) the important events and thoughts i n the s c i e n t i s t ' s boyhood which remain potent throughout h i s l i f e ; (b) the impact of h i s f a m i l y ' s breakdown, i n c l u d i n g moral and p h y s i c a l c o r r u p t i o n ; (3) the s c i e n t i s t ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions, which by d e f i n i t i o n i n c l u d e and exclude v a r i o u s c o n t r o v e r s i a l m a t e r i a l ; (4) the input of f r i e n d s and c o l l e a g u e s , who b r i n g c o n f l i c t both t o h i s work and t o h i s l i f e ; and (5) the l u s t f o r power of h i s s u p e r i o r s , which comp l i c a t e s the l i n k between s c i e n c e and p u b l i c p o l i c y and a f f e c t s h i s l i v i n g and working c o n d i t i o n s . The o v e r a l l e f f e c t of these f a c t o r s i s not so much a diminishment of the achievements of Copernicus but an awareness t h a t t h e o r i e s depend f o r t h e i r c r e a t i o n and c u r r e n c y on p r o p i t i o u s circumstances, more o f t e n than not 89 o u t s i d e the c o n t r o l of i n d i v i d u a l s . Be t h a t as i t may, B a n v i l l e engages us f o r c e f u l l y with the i n t e r n a l b a t t l e s of h i s p r o t a g o n i s t , and i t i s with these t h a t a comprehensive d i s c u s s i o n of Doctor Copernicus should develop. F i r s t , however, I t h i n k i t i s necessary t o make a few g e n e r a l comments about (a) the concept of Copernicanism, (b) the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the n a r r a t i v e modes chosen i n the n o v e l , and (c) the g e n e r a l k i n d of i n f l u e n c e which pervades the f i c t i o n . I t seems t o me t h a t these t o p i c s are c l o s e r t o each other than they appear at f i r s t g l a n c e. Copernicanism as we understand i t today i s the g e n e r a l orthodoxy t h a t the sun i s at the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e around which the e a r t h and other p l a n e t s r e v o l v e . The novel does not go i n t o t h i s theory i n d e t a i l . What Copernicus a c t u a l l y d i s c o v e r e d was t h a t "the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e i s i n the r e g i o n of the Sun" (Duncan 4 9), meaning t h a t the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e i s some d i s t a n c e from the sun, i n space. For s c i e n t i f i c i n t e n t s and purposes, h e l i o c e n t r i s m i s a f i c t i o n . I t i s a workable f i c t i o n , n onetheless, because we f i n d n o t i o n s of absent c e n t r e s d i s t u r b i n g ( i t r e v e a l s p o s s i b l y our l a c k of understanding or inadequate c a l c u l a t i o n s ) and are eager to accept a c o m f o r t i n g or e l e g a n t t h e o r y which i s more or l e s s c o r r e c t . Throughout the n o v e l , the c h a r a c t e r N i c o l a s Copernicus i s t o r n between the f e a r of not b e i n g taken s e r i o u s l y and the equal f e a r of b e i n g taken very s e r i o u s l y , s i n c e he knows what he has to 90 o f f e r i s u l t i m a t e l y a f i c t i o n , a l b e i t a b e t t e r f i c t i o n than the t h e o r i e s of Ptolemy (geocentrism). Given t h a t the competing t h e o r i e s are l i k e n e d t o competing f i c t i o n s , i t i s u n s u r p r i s i n g t h a t one d i s c o v e r s a v a r i e t y of f i c t i o n a l modes i n the novel as a whole. The mainly t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n of s e c t i o n s one, two, and f o u r i s c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n by the f i r s t person n a r r a t i o n of Rhe t i c u s i n s e c t i o n t h r e e . The t h i r d person n a r r a t i v e a s p i r e s t o o b j e c t i v i t y , j u s t as Copernicus h i m s e l f a s p i r e s t o an o b j e c t i v e theory of the heavens. The f i r s t person n a r r a t i v e suggests t h a t s u b j e c t i v e concerns are i n v a r i a b l y i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o any t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t . By the same token, employment of a p r i m a r i l y impersonal n a r r a t i o n t y p i c a l l y promotes a c o n f u s i o n of d i s t a n c e , as Wayne Booth has p o i n t e d out i n The R h e t o r i c of F i c t i o n (1961/1983). T h i s c o n f u s i o n of d i s t a n c e i s i n t h a t between the n a r r a t o r and the c h a r a c t e r of Copernicus, and the d i s t a n c e between the n a r r a t o r and the reader, not t o mention the b r i t t l e d i v i s i o n between the n a r r a t o r and the i m p l i e d author. The " o b j e c t i v e " p r e s e n t a t i o n of " s u b j e c t i v e " thoughts i s achieved, f o r example, by the i n s e r t i o n of l e t t e r s , d i a l o g u e exchanges, R h e t i c u s ' s d i s c o u r s e , and by the many i t a l i c i z e d s e c t i o n s . On top of these v a r i a t i o n s , we seem t o s l i p n a r r a t o r s at the end of the second s e c t i o n , when Anna S c h i l l i n g s i s i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the n a r r a t i v e . These s h i f t s emphasize the novel's f i c t i o n a l i t y , i t s d i s t a n c e (but a l s o c o m p e t i t i o n with) a " r e a l " biography. 91 N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n terms of the t e t r a l o g y ' s g e n e r a l argument t h a t an a c c e p t e d s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y i s o n l y one of many p o s s i b l e t h e o r i e s (and p o s s i b l e " f i c t i o n s ) , such competing s t y l e s of p r e s e n t a t i o n are h i g h l y a p p r o p r i a t e . The t o p i c of degrees of d i s t a n c e i s a l l i e d t o t h e q u e s t i o n of i n f l u e n c e . I have argued t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l does not show us the i n f l u e n c e of Copernicanism, but the i n t e l l e c t u a l and emotional i n f l u e n c e s upon the i n d i v i d u a l who was t o become n o t o r i o u s i n the h i s t o r y of s c i e n c e . The k i n d of i n t e l l e c t u a l i n f l u e n c e B a n v i l l e r e l i e s upon i n h i s n o v e l f o r h i s main c h a r a c t e r bears a resemblance t o t h a t e x p l o r e d i n H a r o l d Bloom's The A n x i e t y of I n f l u e n c e ; A Theory of Poetry (1973). Bloom takes as h i s main s u b j e c t the r o l e of the p a s t i n c o n s t r u c t i n g the p r e s e n t , s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y of p o e t r y . H i s t h e s i s i s s t a t e d i n a f o r t h r i g h t manner: P o e t i c i n f l u e n c e — w h e n i t i n v o l v e s two s t r o n g , a u t h e n t i c p o e t s , — a l w a y s proceeds by a m i s r e a d i n g of the p r i o r poet, an act of c r e a t i v e c o r r e c t i o n t h a t i s a c t u a l l y and n e c e s s a r i l y a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The h i s t o r y of f r u i t f u l p o e t i c i n f l u e n c e , which i s t o say the main t r a d i t i o n of Western p o e t r y s i n c e the Renaissance, i s a h i s t o r y o f a n x i e t y and s e l f — s a v i n g c a r i c a t u r e , of d i s t o r t i o n , of p e r v e r s e , w i l f u l r e v i s i o n i s m -without which modern p o e t r y as such c o u l d not e x i s t . (30) The a c t of misreading, of c o n s c i o u s misunderstanding even, seems c r u c i a l t o B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus's i n t e l l e c t u a l and e motional development, whether i n r e l a t i o n t o Ptolemy or to 92 h i s own f a t h e r . Bloom r e s t r u c t u r e s and c o m p l i c a t e s T. S. E l i o t ' s essay, " T r a d i t i o n and the I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t , " t o account f o r h i s modern "strong, a u t h e n t i c p o e t s . " H i s main p o i n t i s t h a t conscious m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the p a s t i s necessary f o r the a r t i s t t o advance. The word s c i e n t i s t can e a s i l y be i n s e r t e d here as w e l l . For the modern s c i e n t i s t , i n f l u e n c e can be of two k i n d s : an acceptance of p r e v i o u s work i n an attempt t o f u r t h e r i t s l i n e s of thought; and an acceptance of p r e v i o u s work as o n l y one continuum of c e r t a i n s t a r t i n g c o n d i t i o n s . B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l i s f o c u s s e d p a r t l y on the l a t t e r c o n c e p t i o n and p a r t l y on what Kuhn summarizes as "the d e t a i l s of biography and p e r s o n a l i t y t h a t l e a d each i n d i v i d u a l t o a p a r t i c u l a r c h o i c e " (200). Kuhn f i n d s t h i s t o p i c f a s c i n a t i n g , as does Holton, but n e i t h e r chooses t o e x p l o r e i t any depth, except i n terms of t h e o r y . T h i s gap g i v e s B a n v i l l e space i n which t o work. I t a l s o e x p l a i n s why, below, I spend so much time on the v a r i o u s i n f l u e n c e s bn the c h a r a c t e r of Copernicus. These i n f l u e n c e s l e a d him t o (a) c o n d i t i o n s i n which a new theory can be c o n s t r u c t e d ; (b) h i s g r a d u a l acceptance of observable (in)adequacy over unobservable " t r u t h " ; and (c) h i s acceptance of s o c i a l blockages t o the d i s s e m i n a t i o n of h i s t h e o r i e s . These t h r e e stages can be t r a c e d c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y under s i x subheadings: (1) the s c i e n t i s t ' s boyhood; (2) the s c i e n t i s t ' s f a m i l y breakdown; (3) the s c i e n t i s t ' s p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions; (4) the s c i e n t i s t ' s f r i e n d s , 93 colleagues and relationships with women; (5) the s c i e n t i s t ' s dealings with Rheticus; and (6) the s c i e n t i s t ' s awareness of g e o p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s . I. The S c i e n t i s t ' s Boyhood There are two strong early influences on Copernicus's l i f e as depicted i n Banville's novel. One i s deeply symbolic—the green linden t r e e — a n d one concerns a s o c i a l p r o c e s s — h i s education or t r a i n i n g at the hands of Wodka and Sturm i n school. As for the f i r s t , the opening pages of the novel stress the relat i o n s h i p between the object (tree) and the subjective experience of i t (young Copernicus's observation of i t ) . Banville begins and continues with an ambiguous use of t h i r d person i n t e r i o r or l i m i t e d narration: "At f i r s t i t had no name. It was the thing i t s e l f , the v i v i d thing" ( 3 ) . The tree that young Copernicus sees i s at f i r s t unnamable, and i n so fa r as i t does so appear, i t i s b e a u t i f u l . Yet the astronomer's whole educated l i f e consists of an attempt to name the unnamable, for a l l his theories and calculations in l a t e r years are geared to that one end: the encapsulation or explanation of the " v i v i d thing." That which he experiences as a boy, he loses somehow i n adulthood. If we catapult ourselves to the end of the novel, we become aware of how the tree i s embroiled i n a l l of Copernicus's aspirations. 94 In "Magnum Miraculum" we return to the sympathetic narrator at Copernicus's side. The f i r s t paragraph sets the gentle tone of introspection in t h i s f i n a l section. It i s the sun that brings together the fragments of his l i f e for a b r i e f period (naturally so for a h e l i o c e n t r i s t ) . Yet his world has retreated into his s k u l l , a " s h r i v e l l e d sphere" ( 2 2 3 ) . He awakes slowly to form i n his mind the pieces of furniture in his " c e l l " ; they resemble "integers" which assemble his " c o n s t e l l a t i o n " ( 2 2 3 ) . In Anna's s i l e n t ministrations to his dying body, he feels ever more the necessity of the tangible, the world of action, and the d i s t r u s t of words. The only s o l i d i t y appears to be remembering the past which was "wonderfully i n t a c t " ( 2 2 8 ). For a short while, he believes meaning resides i n Torun, his birthplace and where he spent his childhood days, as well as where his linden tree i s ; but these images fade away, bringing only disembodied voices t e l l i n g him how to die. The f i n a l irony i s that Osiander reads Copernicus the preface to de  Revolutionibus, i n which the Lutheran has assumed that Copernicus has yet again saved the phenomenon with new observations and theories. What he c e r t a i n l y has not done, according to Osiander, i s explain the phenomenon, which i s why we end the novel with such elegiac l y r i c i s m for the unnamed tree. B a n v i l l e helps the reader to focus on the major early influences on Copernicus by i n s e r t i n g a l e t t e r from the young boy to his s i s t e r Barbara: Dearest S i s t e r : I am s o r r y t h a t I d i d not w r i t e t o you b e f o r e . Are you happy at the convent? I am not happy here. I am not very unhappy. I miss you & K a t h a r i n a & our house. The masters here are very C r o s s . I have l e a r n e d L a t i n very w e l l & can speak i t very w e l l . We l e a r n Geometry a l s o which I l i k e very much. There i s one who i s named Wodka but he c a l l s h i m s e l f Abstemius. We t h i n k t h a t i s very funny. There i s another by name Caspar Sturm. He teaches L a t i n & other t h i n g s . Does Andreas w r i t e t o you? I do not see him very o f t e n : he goes with o l d e r f e l l o w s . I am very Lonely. I t i s snowing here now & very C o l d . Uncle Lucas came to v i s i t us. He d i d not remember my name. He t e s t e d me on L a t i n & gave me a f l o r i n . He d i d not g i v e Andreas a f l o r i n . The Masters were a f r a i d of him. They say he i s t o be the Bishop soon i n Ermland. He d i d not say anything t o me of t h a t matter. I must go t o Vespers now. I l i k e Music: do you? I say Prayers f o r you & f o r everyone. We are going home f o r C h r i s t m a s t i d e : I mean t o Torun. I hope t h a t you are w e l l . I hope t h a t you w i l l w r i t e t o me soon & then I w i l l w r i t e t o you a g a i n . Your L o v i n g B r o t h e r N i c : Koppernigk (16) His b e l i e f i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e i s conveyed by t h i s l e t t e r t o Barbara, w r i t t e n when only t en years o l d . We l e a r n t h a t he i s l o n e l y but not unhappy (i n t e n s e i n d i v i d u a l i s m and s t o i c i s m ) ; he enjoys L a t i n and geometry (a good mix of a r t s and s c i e n c e s ) ; he looks up t o h i s main t e a c h e r s , Wodka and Sturm (resembling Hesse's N a r z i s s and Goldmund); he d i s c o v e r s the beauty of music through compulsory r e l i g i o n (the l a t t e r remains an uneasy but 96 seemingly necessary r e l a t i o n s h i p ) ; and he becomes used to poor and cold l i v i n g and working conditions. His concern or i n t e r e s t i n Andreas i s also apparent. The narrator makes the point that Copernicus has been thrust at school into a rough new world. This estrangement or separation i s obviously of major importance. It i s a place where astronomical analogies read i l y spring to his mind, i f not to the mind of the sympathetic narrator: "The school was a whirling wheel of noise and violence at the s t i l l centre of which he cowered, dizzy and frightened" (16). As t h i s w h i r l i g i g slows down, he feels a d i s t i n c t divide i n his make—up, "that other s e l f " (17) which passes him nearby i n sunlight. (Sunlight often appears i n Banville's work to be a hint of the importance of seeking answers to problems with the help of the natural world; t h i s tendency i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n Kepler.) Indeed, i t seems he has three p u l l s : the physical world, the astronomical world, and the r e l i g i o u s world. A l l three lay claim to his soul, whether " i n green A p r i l weather, i n the enormous wreckage of clouds, or in the aet h e r i a l splendours of High Mass" (17). Banville's narrator s o l i d i f i e s the connection between the everyday existence at the school and some t h e o r e t i c a l system by suggesting that his time there resembled a peculiar orb i t and "eccentric arc" (17). On an emotional l e v e l , the only excitement for Copernicus i s that which i s associated with an i n t e l l e c t u a l breakthrough i n 97 mathematics, Latin or logic, any subject where "some g l i s t e n i n g ravishing thing" (19) could be imagined. This education he undergoes brings into sharp r e l i e f the subjective or e x t r a — s c i e n t i f i c influences upon the young astronomer, for i t would be a mistake to argue that pure i n t e l l e c t u a l excitement comes to Copernicus from nowhere. Canon Wodka and Sturm become his mentors, even more so than he knows at the time. It would appear that Copernicus's fascination for these two men has no l o g i c a l consistency, as they are indeed opposites. Wodka i s a c l o i s t e r e d figure who seems to l i k e weak i n t e l l e c t u a l types l i k e Copernicus, whereas Sturm i s a worldly figure whose favourites are d u l l , brawny boys. Nevertheless, Copernicus learns from both men, although i t i s Wodka who takes him under his wing. Wodka introduces Copernicus not just to homosexuality, but to the joy of p l a y f u l thought, and to an active disdain of the everyday world. It i s to Wodka that Copernicus owes his f i r s t venture into astronomical theory, for his master t e l l s him of Ptolemy's theories of the heavens, among the many others propagated by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Church Fathers, as well as by A r i s t o t l e , Cusanus, and Plato. He also sees that the era was ripe for new theories since the physical world was expanding, due to the discoveries of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries: In t h e i r quest f o r a sea route t o the I n d i e s the Portuguese had r e v e a l e d the f r i g h t e n i n g immensity of A f r i c a . Rumours from Spain spoke of a v a s t new world beyond the ocean to the west. Men were voyaging out to a l l p o i n t s of the compass, t h r u s t i n g back the f r o n t i e r s everywhere. A l l Europe was i n the g r i p of an i n s p i r e d s i c k n e s s whose symptoms were a v a r i c e and monumental c u r i o u s i t y . The t h i r s t f o r conquest and r e l i g i o u s c o n v e r s i o n , and something more, l e s s e a s i l y d e f i n e d , a k i n d of i r r e s i s t i b l e g a i e t y . N i c o l a s too was marked with the rosy tumours o f t h a t plague. His ocean was w i t h i n him. When he v e n t u r e d out i n the f r a i l bark of h i s thoughts he was at one with those c r a z e d mariners on t h e i r green sea of darkness, and the v i s i o n s t h a t haunted him on h i s r e t u r n from t e r r a i n c o g n i t a were no l e s s luminous and f a n t a s t i c than t h e i r s . (27) T h i s expansionism n a t u r a l l y e x c i t e s Copernicus, the would—be Renaissance Man. Wodka's way of e x p l a i n i n g seems t o implant the n o t i o n t h a t a theory i s l i k e a musical harmony, "a grave m a j e s t i c dance," (22) as the n a r r a t o r would have i t . C o n t i n u i n g the m u s i c a l metaphor, Copernicus seems i n t r i g u e d w i t h Pythagoras, who " l i k e n e d the world t o a v a s t l y r e whose s t r i n g s as i t were are the o r b i t s of the p l a n e t s , which i n t h e i r i n t e r v a l s s i n g beyond human h e a r i n g a p e r f e c t harmonic s c a l e " (22). Wodka wishes to tease young Copernicus out of the n o t i o n t h a t the u n i v e r s e i s a s i l e n t machine, and from the protege's l a t e r work he seems to have succeeded. Perhaps the most important f u n c t i o n of Wodka i s c a p t u r e d i n h i s s t r i c t u r e , "Consider t h i s , c h i l d , l i s t e n : a l l t h e o r i e s are but names, but the world i t s e l f i s a t h i n g [ h i s i t a l i c s ] (23). Wodka warns the young man t h a t t h e o r y cannot t e a c h one how to l i v e ; i t can only occupy one's mind. The Master i s c o n f i r m i n g a d i s t i n c t i o n between th e o r y and p r a c t i c e as two separate d i s c i p l i n e s . T h i s d i v i s i o n i s not a p o p u l a r one f o r a would—be t h e o r e t i c a l astronomer who wishes t o p r o v i d e the meat between the h a l v e s of bread: "I am s e e k i n g a means of understanding and b e l i e f " (23). Wodka appears not t o b e l i e v e wholeheartedly i n what he p u b l i c l y d i s s e m i n a t e s , but he accepts such d u p l i c i t y as a l i v a b l e s a c r i f i c e f o r reasons of s e l f — p r e s e r v a t i o n . Young and strongheaded, Copernicus i s not so e a s i l y calmed; i t takes him u n t i l w e l l i n t o middle age to r e c o n c i l e h i m s e l f with such inadequacies of knowledge. Up u n t i l then, he accepts Wodka's p e s s i m i s t i c a t t i t u d e only when he has time and i n c l i n a t i o n t o r e f l e c t . What he can be happy about i s the p o t e n t i a l of h i s l i f e and f u t u r e r e s e a r c h which would m a g i c a l l y t r a n s c e n d such d i f f e r e n c e s . Indeed, such thoughts as having an o b s e r v a t o r y resembling t h a t of Wodka's sends Copernicus i n t o r a p t u r e s , i n t o a s c i e n t i f i c v e r s i o n of an Joycean epiphany: The sky was a dome of p a l e s t g l a s s , and the sun s p a r k l e d on the snow, and everywhere was a p u r i t y and b r i l l i a n c e almost beyond b e a r i n g . Through the f a r c l e a r s i l e n c e above the snowy f i e l d s and the r o o f s of the town he heard the bark of a fox, a somehow p e r f e c t sound t h a t p i e r c e d the s t i l l n e s s l i k e a gleaming needle. A f l o o d of f o o l i s h happiness f i l l e d h i s h e a r t . A l l would be w e l l , 0, a l l would be w e l l ! The i n f i n i t e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f the f u t u r e awaited him. That was what the snow meant, what the fox s a i d . His young s o u l swooned, and slowly, 0, slowly, he seemed to f a l l upward, i n t o the b l u e . (25) 100 Of course, since Stephen moves downward rather than upward in his epiphanic moment, Banville's sense of parody i s near the surface of our reading of t h i s paragraph. In contrast to Wodka, Sturm i s p h y s i c a l l y powerful and reputed to be a womanizer, a heavy drinker, and even a murderer. He teaches the supposedly exact subjects of l o g i c , grammar, and Latin rhetoric [the trivium] i n the classrooms, while outside he i s responsible for teaching the boys falconry. Wodka, by contrast, teaches the more inexact subjects of geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music theory [the quadrivium]. At times, i n class, Sturm "held riotous assembly, stamping about and waving his arms, roaring, laughing, leaping among the benches to slash with the whip he always car r i e d at the f l e e i n g shoulders of a miscreant. His fellow teachers eyed him with dis t a s t e as he pranced and yelled, but they said nothing, even when his antics threatened to turn t h e i r classes too into bedlam. Their forbearance was an acknowledgement of his wayward b r i l l i a n c e — o r i t might have been only that they too, l i k e the boys, were a f r a i d of him" (18) . To Copernicus, Wodka has an excitable mind, whereas Sturm has one of "bleak f e r o c i t y " (23), one suited to the teaching of falconry. The savagery of the hawks at t r a c t s and repels Copernicus i n a very sexual way. More than t h i s , the birds fascinate him because they have " v i v i d Presence" and appear to be "absolutes" (23). The young astronomer's desire i s to transfer that vividness (echo of the Kantian 101 " t h i n g — i n — i t s e l f " and Copernicus's linden tree) and absolutism to his academic study and theo r i z i n g . In r e a l i t y , thought of the hawks merely prompts his masturbatory habits. I I . The Family Breakdown The impact on Copernicus of his family's d i s i n t e g r a t i o n can not be overstressed. The deaths of his mother and father, the dispersion of the children, and the moral and physical corruption of Andreas haunts the astronomer throughout his l i f e . Even the t i t l e of the f i r s t section, "orbitas Lumenque," i s relevant here, as i t may be translated as "orphaned l i f e , " thereby l i n k i n g the earth's lonely o r b i t with Copernicus's orphaned childhood. In fact, i t might be said that the novel i s one long quest by Copernicus for l o s t union. The early death of Copernicus's mother highlights the separation between body/soul, body/mind, object/subject, and even corpse/essence when he contemplates the absent/present dichotomy of his mother's demise. Abstract concepts resonate i n his mind, as when a l i v e his mother "spoke that name that named nothing [love], some implacable but r e a l thing within him responded as i f to a summons, as i f i t had heard i t s name spoken" (3—4). This i s a rare instance i n Copernicus's l i f e that the abstract and the concrete coalesce, but i t i s of immense importance to him because i t 102 a l l o w s f o r the passage from theory t o p r a c t i c e w i t h i n the s u b j e c t . Words do, t h e r e f o r e , e x c i t e Copernicus on an emotional l e v e l . He i s entranced by words, p a r t i c u l a r l y a b s t r a c t ones. T h i s i s a f o r t u n a t e tendency f o r an astronomer—to—be, Since h i s l a t e r work must d e a l with a b s t r a c t concepts i n an a p p r o p r i a t e language. His p u r s u i t of harmony i s begun by c o n s i d e r i n g the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the combination of words i n t o p l e a s i n g p a t t e r n s and sounds, which account f o r h i s i n t e r e s t i n rhymes and songs (4) . Of course, language i s an 'imperfect medium, but, l i k e most human beings, B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus "soon f o r g o t about these enigmatic matters, and l e a r n e d t o t a l k as others t a l k e d , f u l l of c o n v i c t i o n , u n q u e s t i o n i n g l y " ( 4 ) . T h i s automatism or l a c k of s e l f -c o nsciousness enables the o u t l i n e s of new t h e o r i e s t o be drawn. However, the s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i s t such as Copernicus must h o l d h i s theory or t h e o r i e s up t o i n t e r n a l t e s t i n g . During t h i s a c t i v i t y , i t i s n a t u r a l t h a t the whole q u e s t i o n of language use becomes p r o b l e m a t i c . The young Copernicus i s c o n s t a n t l y reminded of such d i v i s i o n s and s e p a r a t i o n s , most n o t a b l y with the concept of money. His merchant f a t h e r e x p l a i n s t h a t c o i n s are "only a k i n d of p i c t u r e of the r e a l t h i n g , [for] the r e a l t h i n g i t s e l f you cannot see" (6). What we understand here, apart from the a n t i — K a n t i a n resonance, i s the seed of Copernicus's acknowledgement t h a t the v i s i b l e world i s at best a d i s t o r t e d m i r r o r of r e a l i t y . 103 The t r a j e c t o r y of the s c i e n t i s t as a boy i n r e l a t i o n t o the s c i e n t i s t as a man i s e s t a b l i s h e d i n the n o v e l around t h i s p o i n t , s i n c e the mature astronomer i s t o v o i c e e x a c t l y the same sentiments as expressed by h i s f a t h e r (though i n d i f f e r e n t form) t o Rheticus, h i s surrogate son: "There i s no c o n t a c t , none worth mentioning, between the u n i v e r s e and the p l a c e i n which we l i v e " (206). D e s p i t e h i s f a t h e r ' s t u t e l a g e and the warnings of P r o f e s s o r Brudzewski ( d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r below), i t has taken a l i f e t i m e f o r Copernicus t o d i s c o v e r t h i s " t r u t h " f o r h i m s e l f . Put c l e a r l y , he l e a r n s t h a t c o i n s are usable currency f o r a b s t r a c t l e a p s of f a i t h , t h a t simple models are commonly s u b s t i t u t e d f o r complex systems which are not f u l l y understood. Thus the i n f l u e n c e s h i s mother (love) and f a t h e r (money) have i n the short term only confuse an expanding and ambitious i n t e l l e c t . The n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of Copernicus's r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s f a m i l y r e v e a l s h i s s o c i a l i z i n g problems, which s u r f a c e most n o t i c e a b l y i n l a t e r l i f e . He p r e f e r s r e c l u s i v e Barbara to w i l d K a t h a r i n a and Andreas because she i s to be a nun; he f i n d s h i s f a t h e r ' s company p l e a s u r a b l e only i n s i l e n c e ; and when the o b j e c t of b u l l y i n g by Andreas and h i s f r i e n d s , Copernicus r e t r e a t s t o c r y " d i s c r e e t l y " (11). Rambles with h i s f a t h e r i n t r o d u c e the n o t i o n of harmony i n the workplace, " f o r n o t h i n g c o u l d shake the s t o u t twin p i l l a r s of d e b i t and c r e d i t on which the house was balanced. Here was harmony" (7). Of course, t h i s p e r c e i v e d harmony i s t o t a l l y erroneous and comes 104 c r a s h i n g down when h i s f a t h e r d i e s and the b u s i n e s s i s r e p o r t e d t o be running up w i l d debts. Copernicus takes time t o l e a r n t h a t appearance i s not r e a l i t y . The death of h i s f a t h e r can be seen as the most important impetus f o r Copernicus's academic f l o w e r i n g , f o r whereas he saw h i s mother's death as merely a "flaw" i n the "machine," h i s f a t h e r ' s death suggested f a r more: T h i s death was d i f f e r e n t . The machine seemed damaged now beyond r e p a i r . L i f e , he saw, had gone h o r r i b l y awry, and n o t h i n g they had t o l d him c o u l d e x p l a i n i t , none of the names they had taught him c o u l d name the cause. Even Barbara's God withdrew, i n shocked s i l e n c e . (12) T h i s e a r l y i n s i g h t can, i n the l i g h t of Copernicus's l a t e r achievements, be taken i n one of two ways. E i t h e r t h e i r a r b i t r a r y deaths f o r c e him to rescue an "undamaged" or "t r u e machine" of the workings of the u n i v e r s e , with the attendant p r e s s u r e s of s a v i n g / e x p l a i n i n g the a n c i e n t s ' work, the phenomena themselves, and u l t i m a t e l y h i s p a r e n t s ' l i v e s ; or, more simply, t h e i r a r b i t r a r y deaths f o r c e him, at a young age, t o renounce emotion i n favour of i n t e l l e c t . One senses t h a t B a n v i l l e suggests the former underneath the g u i s e of the l a t t e r . Arguably, the most i n f l u e n t i a l f i g u r e on Copernicus's p e r s o n a l i t y i s Andreas, the p r o v e r b i a l b l a c k sheep of the f a m i l y . He has bad dreams; he l i v e s i n h i s "own s i l e n t t r o u b l e d world" (5); he i s v i o l e n t ; he i s the b u t t of h i s f a t h e r ' s s c orn; he i s mediocre at school where he enjoys 105 f a r t i n g c o n t e s t s and b u l l y i n g o t h e r s . Yet Copernicus i s drawn t o him, p a r t i c u l a r l y t o h i s body, which he d e s c r i b e s as a " p e r f e c t vase" (9). Andreas always seems t o appear at the most embarrassing moments, such as t h a t a f t e r Copernicus has masturbated (24). His i n t e l l e c t u a l r o u t i n g at Brudzewski's house i s a l l the more p a i n f u l because Andreas i s t h e r e t o witness i t . Time and again, he can not f i n d a s u i t a b l e r e t o r t t o Andreas's a c c u s a t i o n s t h a t he i s p l o t t i n g t o seek h i s Uncle's favour by h i s i n t e r e s t i n astronomy. As the n a r r a t o r e x p l a i n s , the two b r o t h e r s are " l a s h e d t o g e t h e r by thongs of h a t r e d and f r i g h t f u l l o v e " (40). Andreas has some reason f o r resentment, d i s c o v e r i n g only a f t e r the marauders a t t a c k t h a t h i s b r o t h e r had been h i d i n g money from him. Though c a l l i n g Copernicus a "cunt," he does not seem t o t a l l y s u r p r i s e d by h i s s i b l i n g ' s d e c e i t f u l a c t i o n . In so many ways, they seem o p p o s i t e s . I t i s Andreas who c o m p l i c a t e s Copernicus's l i f e by t e l l i n g Novara of h i s b r i l l i a n t b r o t h e r . Whereas Andreas l o v e s Rome and i t s scheming Churchmen, Copernicus hates the c a p i t a l and i t s s u b t e r f u g e s . D e s p i t e these l e s s than p r o p i t i o u s circumstances, Copernicus seems t o care deeply about Andreas, f o r when the wayward b r o t h e r f a l l s drunkenly i n t o h i s l a p , he i s "suddenly s t r i c k e n by sad h e l p l e s s l o v e " (47). (Andreas resembles F e l i x i n Kepler.) Slowly, the young astronomer watches h i s b r o t h e r d i s i n t e g r a t e i n t o penury and i l l n e s s , " l i k e w i t n e s s i n g the t e r r i b l e slow f a l l i n t o the depths of a once g l o r i o u s m a r v e l l o u s l y s h i n i n g 106 a n g e l " (62). Copernicus can d e s c r i b e h i s b r o t h e r but can not e x p l a i n h i s a c t i o n s . Andreas appears i n the second s e c t i o n of Doctor  Copernicus t o move l i k e the f a l c o n s of the f i r s t s e c t i o n , h o v e r i n g above always ready to s t r i k e . The f i r s t and l a s t paragraph of "Magister L u d i " are the same and they r e f e r , though s i g n i f i c a n t l y not by name (since Andreas i s very much a " t h i n g " t o C o p e r n i c u s ) , to the b r o t h e r as a k i n d of M i l t o n i c s e r p e n t . He i s t r u l y the " i n e f f a b l e " because words/language cannot encompass him, j u s t as Copernicus as a c h i l d f e e l s " t r e e " does not sum up the p h y s i c a l e n t i t y , and j u s t as i n l a t e r l i f e he f e e l s h i s De R e v o l u t i o n i b u s does not sum up the o r b i t s of the p l a n e t s . Andreas's presence i s an i r r i t a t i n g reminder to Copernicus of h i s earthboundedness and c o l d n e s s , f o r "between the o b j e c t and the emotion a t h i r d something, f o r him, must always mediate" (101—2). Andreas i s the p h y s i c a l embodiment of the world t h a t Copernicus's theory seeks not to e x p l a i n , or seeks t o i g n o r e . D e s p i t e Andreas's venom, Copernicus's response i s i n v a r i a b l y t h a t of p i t y and l o v e . He r e f u s e s t o t a l k about h i s b r o t h e r ' s predicament with h i s other Canons, who want shot of the d i s e a s e d man; but, more i m p o r t a n t l y , he ensures t h a t Andreas i s p r o v i d e d f o r . In a major departure from Hoyle's biography, Copernicus leaves h i s o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n at H e i l s b e r g t o prove h i s regard f o r h i s b r o t h e r : "He would embrace e x i l e , would g i v e i t a l l up, f o r Andreas" (108). 107 Andreas's most important appearance i n the n a r r a t i v e occurs i n the f i n a l s e c t i o n of the novel when Copernicus, c l o s e t o death, seemingly h a l l u c i n a t e s and g i v e s words t o h i s suddenly a r r i v e d b r o t h e r . T h i s e x t r a w o r l d l y and wise a p p a r i t i o n says t h a t at l a s t Copernicus can be honest and admit t h a t : We know the meaning of the s i n g u l a r t h i n g o n l y so long as we content o u r s e l v e s w i t h knowing i t i n the midst of other meanings; i s o l a t e i t , and a l l meaning draws away. I t i s not the t h i n g t h a t counts . . . onl y the i n t e r a c t i o n of t h i n g s ; and, of course, the names. (239) In other words, l o o k i n g only to the sky u n n e c e s s a r i l y d e l i m i t s our h o r i z o n s and understanding. Andreas f u r t h e r r i d i c u l e s the astronomer's h u b r i s i n u s i n g inadequate o b s e r v a t i o n a l equipment. Andreas argues t h a t i t was Copernicus's p e r s o n a l b e l i e f system which made any p a r t i c u l a r l i g h t i n the sky important. What he means here i s t h a t Copernicus's o b s e r v a t i o n s are merely t h e o r y — l a d e n . Andreas's " t r u t h " i s a combination of the world and human beings, the o b j e c t and the s u b j e c t ; t h a t the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n our language are th e r e but t h a t we must be s a t i s f i e d with what we can express; and t h a t the i n e f f a b l e , the " t h i n g — i n — i t s e l f " can only be glimpsed, whether i n human beings l i k e the " p h y s i c a l " Anna or Girolamo or i n the chaos of the " r e a l " world. Connected t o t h i s i s the concept of redemption which pervades the end of the novel and which i s of two k i n d s : f i r s t l y , Copernicus has, even i n 108 h a l l u c i n a t i o n , come to terms with h i s s u b j e c t i v e f e e l i n g s toward h i s f a m i l y and p a r t i c u l a r l y h i s b r o t h e r ; and secondly, he i s r e c o n c i l e d t o the " f a c t " t h a t he has come c l o s e t o the " t h i n g — i n — i t s e l f " , so t h a t h i s quest, while u l t i m a t e l y f u t i l e , has i t s own s p e c i a l aura of achievement. I I I . P h i l o s o p h i c a l Assumptions Near the end of the f i r s t s e c t i o n , " O r b i t a s Lumenque," at the age of t h i r t y or so, B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus convinces h i m s e l f momentarily that he has broken through what he b e l i e v e s t o be the p r e s e n t l y c l o s e d system of s c i e n c e . H i s new s c i e n c e would be o b j e c t i v e and honest, d i s p e n s i n g with mathematical neatness i n favour of a s o l i d t h e o r y e x p l a i n i n g p l a n e t a r y motion: A new beginning, then, a new s c i e n c e , one t h a t would be o b j e c t i v e , open—minded, above a l l honest, a beam of s t a r k c o l d l i g h t t r a i n e d u n f l i n c h i n g l y upon the world as i t i s and not as men, out of a d e s i r e f o r reassurance or mathematical elegance or whatever, wished i t t o be: t h a t was h i s aim. (83) Whereas the c o n v e n t i o n a l approach r e q u i r e d a slow amassing of o b s e r v a t i o n s and c a l c u l a t i o n s , the new s c i e n c e of Copernicus "must be preceded by a r a d i c a l act of c r e a t i o n " (83). T h i s act would e x p l a i n r a t h e r than be content t o save (or d e s c r i b e ) the phenomenon. The l a t t e r a c t i v i t y seeks not t o "rock the boat" of c o n v e n t i o n a l s c i e n c e , d e s p i t e the 109 appearance of new c o n t r a d i c t o r y data. Copernicus f u l l y a c c e pts t h a t h i s new s c i e n c e i s based on n o t h i n g more than an i n c r e d i b l e t r u s t i n h i s i n t u i t i o n . C l e a r l y , Copernicus i s at the confused stage of H o l t o n i a n "science—in—the—making." Although the n a r r a t o r of the f i r s t two s e c t i o n s i s c o l d and c l i n i c a l , he i s sympathetic t o the would—be c o l d and c l i n i c a l c h a r a c t e r of Cop e r n i c u s . As readers, we sense t h a t the dominant n a r r a t o r i s an o l d e r Copernicus l o o k i n g back or a c l o s e f r i e n d of C o p e r n i c u s . The " o b j e c t i v e " t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n makes i t d i f f i c u l t t o e s t a b l i s h the v a l i d i t y of what appear t o be f i r s t person a s s e r t i o n s . For example, the n a r r a t o r , along with Copernicus, l a b e l s p r e v i o u s l y h e l d b e l i e f s (mainly the g e o c e n t r i c t h e o r y propagated by Ptolemy and h i s f o l l o w e r s ) as s u b j e c t i v e , d i s h o n e s t , o v e r l y e legant, and convenient t o account f o r t h e i r c a l c u l a t i o n s and o b s e r v a t i o n s . So f a r , so good. But how, we ask, can t h i s f i c t i o n a l Copernicus delude h i m s e l f t h a t what he w i l l uncover i n h i s new s c i e n c e w i l l be l e s s than a s u b j e c t i v e a c t i v i t y , p a r t i c u l a r l y when he h o n e s t l y admits to r e l y i n g upon a " c r e a t i v e a c t , " a "theory" and, most of a l l , " i n t u i t i o n " ? Of course, Copernicus accepts t h a t e r r o r s and i l l u s i o n s precede the t r u t h , but e q u a l l y , i t i s never r e a l l y addressed whether or not such f a l s e t r a i l s l e a d to the promised l a n d of t r u t h . More disingenuous from a s c h o l a r l y p o i n t of view i s his-d i s m i s s a l of the need t o d e v i s e o r i g i n a l procedures with which to c o n s t r u c t a new t h e o r y . He f e e l s t h a t spending time working with new measuring instruments and new o b s e r v a t i o n s i s an unnecessary o c c u p a t i o n . In f a c t , C opernicus's h e l i o c e n t i c theory and v i s i o n o f an expanded u n i v e r s e do not come from s c h o l a r s h i p but from a " c r e a t i v e l e a p " (85). He c h a s t i s e s h i m s e l f f o r h i s c o n s e r v a t i v e academic c a u t i o n , as the n a r r a t o r e x p l a i n s : He had been a t t a c k i n g the problem a l l along from the wrong d i r e c t i o n . Perhaps h i s t r a i n i n g at the hands of c a u t i o u s schoolmen was to blame. No sooner had he r e a l i z e d the a b s o l u t e n e c e s s i t y f o r a c r e a t i v e leap than h i s i n s t i n c t s without h i s knowing had thrown up t h e i r defences a g a i n s t such a scandalous n o t i o n , t h r u s t i n g him back i n t o the c l o s e d system of worn—out o r t h o d o x i e s . There, l i k e a b l i n d f o o l , he had sought t o a r r i v e at a new d e s t i n a t i o n by t r a v e l l i n g the o l d ro u t e s , had thought to c r e a t e an o r i g i n a l t h e o r y by means of c o n v e n t i o n a l c a l c u l a t i o n s . (84—85) T h i s a ct of c r e a t i o n becomes i n i t i a l l y the much sought a f t e r " t h i n g i t s e l f , the v i v i d t h i n g " (85), which draws the reader back t o the very b e g i n n i n g of the f i r s t s e c t i o n t o the as yet.unnamed t r e e (3). Memory of t h i s t r e e c o n j u r e s up l o s t youth and p u r i t y . In t u r n , we are pushed back f u r t h e r t o the epigraph f o r the novel from Wallace Stevens's "Notes Toward A Supreme F i c t i o n " : "You must become an ig n o r a n t man again / And see the sun again with an ign o r a n t eye / And see i t c l e a r l y i n the i d e a of i t " . In other words, i n the "world" of Copernicus, Stevens and B a n v i l l e we must always c l e a n our g l a s s e s and go back f o r a second look at " r e a l i t y " . Yet however hard Copernicus works, he cannot v e r i f y h i s theory I l l of the heavens, at least not i n the same v i s u a l way that he can v e r i f y the existence of a linden tree before names are connected to i t . This search or quest for truth i s obviously the core of the novel and bears some examination. It i s t i e d to some extent to his vocation as a r e l i g i o u s man, who i s supposed to have absolute f a i t h i n God. His pos i t i o n as a Canon i n the Cathedral Chapter i s largely a sinecure, a place where academics can thrive, but t h i s does not mean he takes his r e l i g i o n f or granted. It i s questioned, however, by his work and his everday experiences. In sickness, Copernicus feels sharply the divide between the knowable and the unknowable, between observational (in)adequacy (or capability) and unobservable tr u t h . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , as Copernicus recovers from his i l l n e s s , i t i s the commonplace which gives him support, such as the f l e a — b i t t e n dog or his servant Max's surly demeanour. Yet t h i s information i s mediated at a distance by the narrator, since i t appears that Copernicus does not seem to p r i v i l e g e t h i s observable adequacy in the face of unobservable "truths" which he so desperately seeks i n astronomy. This distancing i s mirrored i n Copernicus's working through of his theory. His a b i l i t y to v e r i f y (or to account for his theories) i s sadly lacking; i n fact, he echoes Brudzewski's oppositional structures by f e e l i n g that his writing could not mediate s a t i s f a c t o r i l y between the planets and his own physical p o s i t i o n (93). Copernicus's 112 problem i s t h a t he regards the s u b j e c t and the o b j e c t as m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e , when i n t r u t h the " o b j e c t " i s p a r t of the s u b j e c t ' s e x p e r i e n c e . I t i s a k i n d of paradox which produces i n him "rapturous g r i e f " (93), or the o n l y happiness p o s s i b l e i n h i s l o n e l y world. In the second s e c t i o n of the novel, at h i s f i r s t a r r i v a l i n Frauenberg, i t appears h i s f e e l i n g s are moving away from mutually e x c l u s i v e concepts, when the n a r r a t o r informs us he hated extremes (109). He p r e f e r s the sea t o the sky, but the murky depths of t h a t sea worry him. He would r a t h e r have the rock by the seashore because i t would then be something s u b s t a n t i a l , something "stony," a word which he normally a s s o c i a t e s with God's s i l e n c e (110). We b e g i n t o wonder i f h i s book i s one long preamble t o the v e r i f i c a t i o n of God (that h i s book of the Heaven's system i s e s s e n t i a l l y a search f o r God). Copernicus, however, does not h e l p h i m s e l f i n t h i s academic or t h e o l o g i c a l s e a r c h by h i s d e c i s i o n to l i v e apart from h i s companions, i n the tower at the northwest corner of the c a t h e d r a l w a l l (110). In t h i s p e r i o d of " r e n u n c i a t i o n " or " p a s s i v i t y " , i n r e l a t i o n t o h i s c o l l e a g u e s , he takes on the numerous everyday t a s k s of the C h a p t e r — c o l l e c t i n g r e n t s , w r i t i n g r e p o r t s , t e n d i n g the s i c k . T h i s i s the p o i n t where A l i c i a , the poxed g i r l , e n t e r s the n a r r a t i v e . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , l i k e h i s green l i n d e n t r e e and the green gowned g i r l at P r o f e s s o r Brudzewski's, A l i c i a wears a green c l o a k . Although he seems unaware of what i s going on, Copernicus i s s l o w l y l e a r n i n g 113 about the " o b j e c t i v e " world and begi n n i n g to. r e c o n c i l e i t with h i s s u b j e c t i v e view of i t . I t i s j u s t t h a t he \Ls f a i l i n g t o view the sky i n the same forms t h a t he views those around him. Yet i t i s only a s t a r t , because he s t i l l c o n s i d e r s her appearance i n e i t h e r / o r terms or as s u g g e s t i v e of a p o l a r o p p o s i t i o n : "Once again he was s t r u c k by the f a i l u r e o f t h i n g s and times t o connect. The world was the r e , A l i c i a was here, and between the two the chasm yawned" (114). A l i c i a ' s predicament s t i r s i n him a d e s i r e t o c l o s e t h a t chasm by g r a s p i n g her body t o h i s , i f i t would do her any good. At t h i s p o i n t he f e e l s God has abandoned him. I r o n i c a l l y , though c o n s i s t e n t l y , he l o s e s f a i t h i n the theo r y [ e x i s t e n c e of God] and not the p r a c t i c e [the r i t u a l s ] which he wholeheartedly, b e l i e v e s i n because they are t a n g i b l e and workable. His divorcement of f a i t h and r i t u a l can be c o r r e l a t e d t o h i s s u b j e c t i v e theory of the heavens ( f a i t h ) and h i s w o r l d l y l i f e ( r i t u a l ) . He seems t o ask too much, hoping i n t u i t i o n can be r a t i o n a l i z e d f u l l y . The c r e a t i v e l e a p of f a i t h he so l o u d l y (to h i m s e l f ) p r o c l a i m s cannot w i t h s t a n d the k i n d of v e r i f i c a t i o n he i s accustomed t o demanding. A l s o at t h i s p o i n t he l o s e s f a i t h i n h i s book's a b i l i t y t o move, outward. J u s t as he i s aware of the nonconnection or a r b i t r a r i n e s s of r i t u a l and f a i t h i n God, so, too, does he see the a r b i t r a r y connection between w r i t i n g and the e x t e r n a l world. His t e x t only r e f e r s t o i t s e l f and when i t spun outward, i t spun i n t o "emptiness" 114 (116) . The more he r e v i s e s and reworks, the more he r e a l i z e s he i s s l i p p i n g away from the o r i g i n a l thought. What i s m i s s i n g i n Copernicus's view of h i s book i s the power of s u b j e c t i v e f e e l i n g s t o make such w r i t i n g s work i n the r e a l world. For a man used t o s c r i p t u r e , t h i s h e s i t a t i o n i s s u r p r i s i n g . I t suggests t h a t he cannot f o r much of h i s l i f e accept the same r u l e of thumb (a c r e a t i v e l e a p o f f a i t h ) i n h i s astronomy as he wishes t o do i n h i s r e l i g i o n . C opernicus's compromise i s an academic one. E i t h e r he has t o w r i t e a completely new book or, and t h i s i s where he u l t i m a t e l y r e s i d e s , a new view of the book he has w r i t t e n needs t o be e x p l o r e d . He c o n s i d e r s t h a t d e s p i t e i t s flaws, the world g e n e r a l l y would welcome h i s book as a great event. T h i s prompts him to " p u b l i s h " or have c o p i e d h i s Commentariolus. He r e a l i z e s h i s theory banishes the wo r l d / e a r t h from the centre of the u n i v e r s e , but he b e l i e v e s he i s only p o i n t i n g out r e a l i t y : 0 t r u e , he had no wish t o be r e v i l e d , but f a r more important than t h a t was h i s wish not t o m i s l e a d people. They must be made t o understand t h a t by b a n i s h i n g E a r t h and man along with i t from the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e , he was p a s s i n g no judgements, expounding no phil o s o p h y , but merely s t a t i n g what i s the case. The game of which he was master c o u l d e x e r c i s e thwe mind, but i t would not teach them how to l i v e . (120) His i n t e l l e c t u a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s are c u r i o u s l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y , though necessary perhaps t o keep him sane. 115 Hi s g r a d u a l acceptance of observable (in)adequacy over unobservable " t r u t h " i s p a r t of the h e a l i n g p r o c e s s of h i s i n t e l l e c t and l i f e . F e e l i n g s of m o r t a l i t y take c e n t r e stage as Andreas's i l l n e s s p r o g r e s s e s and as Copernicus's a d m i n s t r a t i v e l a b o u r s b r i n g him i n t o d i r e c t c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the "grimy commonplace world" (130). He r e s i s t s at f i r s t the a t r o c i t i e s h i s eyes are presented with, f e a r i n g h i s "hi g h e r " a s t r o n o m i c a l work w i l l be t a r n i s h e d . However, coming a c r o s s the raped peasant g i r l not only encourages him to share t h i s e xperience with Giese i n a l e t t e r but a l s o encourages him to seek h i s own sense of compassion. Of course, compassion i s a word t h a t conjures up a meeting p o i n t between a person or s i t u a t i o n and a f e e l i n g . As we suspect t h a t the n a r r a t o r i s about t o ease us i n t o a warmer co n c e p t i o n of the man, the tone becomes extremely academic, detached, and p e d a n t i c , u t i l i z i n g the c o n s c i o u s l y f a l s e d e s c r i p t i o n "as i f " t o p o i n t out t h a t at the c e n t r e of Copernicus was a v o i d . The n a r r a t o r who speaks i s unknown: Ne v e r t h e l e s s t h e r e was something about Canon K o p p e r n i g k — a l l saw i t , even the k i n d l y and a l l — f o r g i v i n g Canon G i e s e — a c e r t a i n l a c k , a transparence, as i t were, t h a t was more than the n a t u r a l a l o o f n e s s and o t h e r — w o r l d l i n e s s of a b r i l l i a n t s c i e n t i s t . I t was as i f , w i t h i n the v i g o r o u s and able p u b l i c man, t h e r e was a v o i d , as i f , behind the r i t u a l , a l l was a hollow save f o r one t h i n t a u t cord of s t e e l y i n e x p r e s s i b l e anguish s t r e t c h i n g across the nothingness. (132) 116 The concept of outer a c c e s s i b i l i t y but i n n e r i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y i s c l e a r l y brought out i n t o the open here, and i t r e l a t e s d i r e c t l y t o the apparent absence of God i n Copernicus's t h e o r y of the heavens. IV. F r i e n d s , Colleagues, Women In a d d i t i o n t o h i s mother, Andreas, and Canon Sturm, on the c l o s e p h y s i c a l and emotional s i d e of Copernicus's make-up, t h e r e are the i n f l u e n c e s of F r a c a s t o r o Girolamo, Anna S c h i l l i n g s , and d i s c i p l e Rheticus, a l l of whom b r i n g c o n f l i c t t o the l i f e and work of Copernicus. F r a c a s t o r o Girolamo i s pluck e d out of h i s t o r y by B a n v i l l e f o r a s p e c i f i c purpose. To understand h i s r o l e f u l l y i n Copernicus's development, we must t u r n t o one of B a n v i l l e ' s sources, W. P. D. Wightman's Science i n a Renaissance S o c i e t y (1972). Wightman e x p l a i n s t h a t the h i s t o r i c a l Girolamo, who has a st a t u e bestowed upon h i s memory i n Verona, was a contemporary of Copernicus. Furthermore, he was a d i l e t t a n t e who, n e v e r t h e l e s s , p u b l i s h e d a major work, Contagion and Contagious D i s e a s e s . He i s remembered by medical h i s t o r i a n s as having c o i n e d the name " s y p h i l i s . " Wightman s t r e s s e s t h a t Girolamo's uniqueness l a y i n h i s i s o l a t i o n from other academics and t h e i r i n f l u e n c e s , and i n h i s f i r m b e l i e f t h a t h i s work should be based on experience r a t h e r than on the o r y or experiment (Wightman 95). 117 Copernicus i s happy in Girolamo's company, spouting his theory of the planets. For a while, he believes that his homosexual re l a t i o n s h i p can l i b e r a t e him from his i n t e l l e c t or, more l i k e l y , enable him to fuse his physical and i n t e l l e c t u a l desires. This i s a very s e l f i s h attitude on his part, consistent with his i n t e l l e c t u a l vanity. He seems to enjoy poking fun at Girolamo's higher s o c i a l standing, but i t appears that his perception of his f r i e n d i s misdirected. Girolamo points to Copernicus's weaknesses and, i n so doing, announces his own raison d'etre: Have you ever, once, shown the mildest i n t e r e s t i n my concerns? I am a physician, that I take seriously. My work on contagion, the spread of diseases, t h i s i s not without value. Medicine i s a science of the tangible . . . . You wanted me to be a rake, a r i c h wastrel, something u t t e r l y d i f f e r e n t from yourself: a happy f o o l . And I obliged you. I have been l y i n g ever since. (82) Once the rug i s pulled out from underneath his feet, the young astronomer moves further into his profession, determined that he w i l l prove his a b i l i t y to perceive beyond the surface. Yet we ask, along with Girolamo, what kind of astronomer—philosopher can exist who i s so patently bad at grasping the true worth of those around him? Girolamo's assertion of the value of the tangible sciences haunts Copernicus to the extent that he finds s u r p r i s i n g peace of mind as a physician or doctor to his Uncle Bishop Lucas. It i s as i f he finds the practice of medicine an e x p e r i e n t i a l 118 l i f e l i n e t o h i s metaphysical s p e c u l a t i o n s . I t i s e s s e n t i a l l y t o Girolamo t h a t he owes t h i s p e r c e p t i o n , but i t i s n o t i c e a b l y unrecognised by the n a r r a t o r and Copernic u s . The astronomer's i n a b i l i t y t o communicate with women seems deep rooted, p o s s i b l y due t o the l o s s of h i s mother at an e a r l y age. He r e s p e c t s Barbara but does not p a r t i c i p a t e i n any meaningful c o n v e r s a t i o n with her, and he appears t o have a deep d i s t r u s t of Katha r i n a , h i s other s i s t e r . Women are " h o p e l e s s l y c o r p o r e a l c r e a t u r e s " (24), meaning t h a t they do not o f f e r excitement at the l e v e l of meta p h y s i c a l i n q u i r y . Indeed, we have a l r e a d y noted when Copernicus masturbated h i s f a n t a s i e s r e v o l v e d around Sturm's hawks not human beings, whether male or female. C u r i o u s l y , he t r i e s t o i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o h i s work the p e r c e i v e d beauty of one woman. She symbolizes h i s v a l i a n t e f f o r t s with P r o f e s s o r Brudzewski t o d i s c r e d i t the Ptolemaic system. But even here he i s s e r i o u s l y misguided. On e n t e r i n g Brudzewski's house, he s p i e s a s m i l i n g green c l a d g i r l . He sees her as a "t a l i s m a n whose image he might h o l d up a g a i n s t the malignant chaos of t h i s ramshackle a f t e r n o o n " (33). She i s very much "the t h i n g i t s e l f , " e l u s i v e but t a n g i b l e . I t i s perhaps no a c c i d e n t t h a t he f i n d s , a l b e i t d i s p l a c e d , s e c u r i t y i n green, f o r i t i s the c o l o u r of h i s immortal l i n d e n t r e e (3). However, j u s t as the l i n d e n t r e e i s t o be cut down (119) so, too, i s Copernicus's view of the g i r l who i s r e p o r t e d by Brudzewski as "mad" (48) . The young astronomer's understanding of women i s low on o r i g i n a l i t y 119 and o f t e n h i g h on d e r i v a t i o n , even t o the p o i n t of copying a phrase from Regiomontanus, an i n t e l l e c t u a l antecedent, i n h i s l i n e of a r g u m e n t a t i o n — " l i k e credulous women" (34). More d i s t u r b i n g misogyny i s h i s d i s p a s s i o n on a walking t r i p t o I t a l y when the women t r a v e l l e r s are raped by marauders (43). The n a r r a t o r seems t o suggest t h a t i t i s because the t r a v e l l e r s beat up a d i s e a s e d female p r o s t i t u t e , who l a t e r d i e s , t h a t t h e i r journey i s doomed (42). Copernicus's l o s s of v i r g i n i t y on one drunken evening with a p r o s t i t u t e i s viewed by the n a r r a t o r with equal d i s p a s s i o n as "a messy b u s i n e s s , q u i c k l y done" ( 4 7 ) . Indeed, the end of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with Girolamo i s symbolized by the sexual a c t s of a " s l a t t e r n " of a maid, who seemingly r e p l a c e s Copernicus (82-83). T h i s p e s s i m i s t i c and neg a t i v e a t t i t u d e t o women undergoes a gradual change i n the second s e c t i o n of Doctor  Copernicus. The astronomer's c l o i s t e r e d l i f e begins, at Andreas's u r g i n g , t o s t r i k e him as "dry as a bar r e n woman" (102), but most s i g n i f i c a n t i s h i s f a i l e d attempts t o m i n i s t e r t o the v e n e r a l l y d i s e a s e d f i f t e e n — y e a r — o l d g i r l A l i c i a . In h i s f a i l u r e , he b r i n g s out a con n e c t i o n between a d i s e a s e d human being and h i s l i m i t e d , indeed f a u l t y , t h e o r y of the heavens: "Once again he was s t r u c k by the f a i l u r e of t h i n g s and times to connect. The world was there , A l i c i a was here, and between the two the chasm yawned" (114) . In other words, he has begun t o f e e l compassion and to see how h i s e a r l i e r d i v i s i o n of mind and 120 body i s not so simple. The f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n i s t y p i c a l of the n a r r a t o r ' s summation of Copernicus's e a r l y f e e l i n g s : "There were f o r him two s e l v e s , separate and i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , the one a mind among the s t a r s , the other a w o r t h l e s s f o r k of f l e s h p l a n t e d f i r m l y i n e a r t h l y excrement" (27). The movement away from t h i s f e e l i n g i s f u r t h e r advanced when the n a r r a t o r , now assuming the pomposity resembling the s t y l e of Giese, Copernicus's most f r i e n d l y Canon c o l l e a g u e , r e c a l l s what appears t o be a l e t t e r from the astronomer i n which he , d e s c r i b e s h i s o u t r i g h t h o r r o r at f i n d i n g a young g i r l who had been raped r e p e a t e d l y and f i n a l l y murdered: "I r e a l i z e d then, perhaps, (to my shame, I say i t ! ) perhaps f o r the f i r s t time, the inexpendable c a p a c i t y f o r e v i l which t h e r e i s i n man" (130). I t i s here t h a t he r a i s e s the i s s u e of redemption which f o r Copernicus seems t i e d up w i t h h i s p r e v i o u s s e l f i s h a t t i t u d e s to h i s f e l l o w man, as e x e m p l i f i e d e a r l i e r by the way "he kept h i s r i c h e s s e c r e t , and sewed the g o l d i n t o the l i n i n g of h i s cloak, because he d i d not wish t o embarrass h i s p e n n i l e s s b r o t h e r , so he t o l d h i m s e l f " (41) . The l a s t f o u r words of t h i s q u o t a t i o n seem t o mark a d i s t i n c t i o n between the "naive" c h a r a c t e r and the "wise" or "moral" n a r r a t o r . I t i s a d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t b e t r a y s p e r i o d i c a l l y i n ' the t e x t the e x i s t e n c e of an observer (a b i o g r a p h e r as n a r r a t o r ) and an observed (Copernicus). We have a l r e a d y seen t h i s i n the l e t t e r of Copernicus w r i t t e n at s c h o o l and w i l l see i t l a t e r i n the d i s c u s s i o n of R h e t i c u s . 121 Although he cannot save A l i c i a from the pox or another g i r l from the s o l d i e r y , Copernicus can save Anna S c h i l l i n g s and her c h i l d r e n , even though the r e t e n t i o n of h i s " f o c a r i a " [a female servant] proves t o be the most d i s t u r b i n g aspect of h i s l i f e f o r those p l o t t i n g a g a i n s t him from w i t h i n the Church. The n a r r a t o r devotes a whole s e c t i o n t o Anna, although we never r e a l l y push i n t o her mind as we do i n t o the mind of Copernicus. Her small s e c t i o n (139—48) i s recounted by a p a r o d i c and j o c u l a r n a r r a t o r , as i f by some p o p u l i s t b i o g r a p h e r . T h i s F i e l d i n g e s q u e s t y l e i s r e p l a c e d i n the f i n a l s e c t i o n of the book with Copernicus's assessment of Anna, which i s one of great compassion and g r a t i t u d e . C l e a r l y , t h i s woman's r o l e deserves extended c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Frau Anna S c h i l l i n g s b u r s t s a b r u p t l y on t o the n a r r a t i v e near the end of s e c t i o n two, "Master L u d i , " a f t e r the t h r e a t e n e d i n v a s i o n of Teutonic Knights i n t o Ermland's towns subsides, and b e f o r e the p r e s e n t a t i o n of v a r i o u s l e t t e r s t o and f r o among Copernicus, D a n t i s c u s and Gi e s e . The n a r r a t o r ' s use of the r o y a l "we" i n a q u o t a t i o n below i s s t r i k i n g l y p a t r o n i z i n g , c o n s i s t e n t with the remarkable r e f e r e n c e t o the "weaker sex" (140). The f a l s e m o r a l i t y advanced by t h i s n a r r a t o r adds t o the reader's c o n f u s i o n i n r e c o g n i z i n g the " a p p r o p r i a t e " l e v e l of d i s t a n c e from the c h a r a c t e r s . Dashes, parentheses, q u e s t i o n marks, and i t a l i c s a l s o c o n t r i b u t e t o our sense of t h i s n a r r a t i o n ' s d i f f e r e n c e . The use of understatement i s most n o t i c e a b l e : 122 " I t i s a measure of the woman's—we do not h e s i t a t e t o say i t — o f the woman's s a i n t l i n e s s t h a t at f i r s t she d i d not understand what the b e a s t l y man was sugg e s t i n g ; and when he had t o l d her p r e c i s e l y what he meant, she gave vent t o a low scream and b u r s t immediately i n t o t e a r s . Never!" (141) Yet where t h e r e i s scene over the n a r r a t o r ' s summary, Anna S c h i l l i n g s appears t o be a tough—minded, s e n s i b l e , woman. She p r e s e n t s her predicament of pov e r t y f i r s t t o Canon S c u l e t i ' s f o c a r i a , Hermina, and then t o Copernicus h i m s e l f , who takes her i n . L u c k i l y , too, she seems t o be a d i s t a n t c o u s i n of the good Doctor. Her i n s e r t i o n i n t o the wasteland of Copernicus's l i f e i s f o r t u i t o u s , as she a r r i v e s i n the vacuum l e f t by the recent deaths of h i s s i s t e r Barbara and b r o t h e r Andreas. D e s p i t e the many v e i l e d t h r e a t s by l e t t e r from Dantiscus, and d e s p i t e the e x p u l s i o n of Canon S c u l e t i from the Chapter f o r the same "crime," Canon Copernicus holds f a s t t o Anna as some k i n d of l i f e l i n e . He even r e v e a l s a sense of humour about h i s s i t u a t i o n by remarking t o Giese i n a l e t t e r , " I t occurs t o me t h a t our Frauenburg i s a p t l y named" (155). He does i s s u e an e d i c t t o expel Anna, but he seems e q u a l l y c o nvinced t h a t i t i s p o i n t l e s s as she has nowhere e l s e t o go. The c o n t i n u i n g development of Copernicus's work would seem t o be s u s t a i n e d by the p h y s i c a l presence of Anna. She must be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o h i s system and h i s l i f e d e s p i t e the consequences. 123 Anna S c h i l l i n g s r e c e i v e s a very u n f l a t t e r i n g p o r t r a i t from R h e t i c u s — " t h a t b i t c h " (162). She i s a t y r a n t i n R h e t i c u s ' s mind because he senses t h a t some " c u n t i s h r i t u a l , performed years b e f o r e " (190) between Copernicus and Anna g i v e s the l a t t e r a c e r t a i n autonomy. In t h i s assumption, R h e t i c u s accords with the n a r r a t o r of the f o u r t h s e c t i o n of the n o v e l , "Magnum Miraculum." Away from the f i r e of R h e t i c u s ' s embittered account, t h i s n a r r a t i o n i s serene, r e f l e c t i v e , and sympathetic to Copernicus. The Canon t e l l s Anna he i s dying; she weeps. In the i r o n i c c l a r i t y of i l l n e s s , "he admired her competence, her r e s i l i e n c e ; an admirable woman, r e a l l y . Something of the o l d , almost f o r g o t t e n fondness s t i r r e d i n him" (227). He contemplates whether h i s s l e e p i n g with her (only on t h r e e occasions) a c t u a l l y meant more than he would admit at the time. For her p a r t , Anna says l i t t l e and m i n i s t e r s t o him i n h i s time of need; she i s a woman of a c t i o n , a f e a t u r e which Copernicus r e c o g n i z e s and r e s p e c t s . When the Lutheran Osiander a r r i v e s t o d i c t a t e h i s p r e f a c e , Copernicus i s embarrassed, not f o r h i m s e l f but f o r Anna, s i n c e i t i s not becoming f o r a P r o t e s t a n t to be c o n f r o n t e d by the " m i s t r e s s " of a C a t h o l i c clergyman. And j u s t b e f o r e Copernicus hears the h o r r i f y i n g news of Osiander's p r e f a c e , the sound of Anna's d i s t a n t f o o t s t e p s s t r i k e s him as the f i n a l l o s s of comfort i n h i s l i f e . Anna S c h i l l i n g s becomes the f o c a l p o i n t of D a n t i s c u s ' a t t a c k on Copernicus. She i s the flaw i n h i s system, at 124 l e a s t a c c o r d i n g to the world of p o l i t i c a l c h i c a n e r y . D a n t i s c u s argues t h a t "For Ermland, the f u t u r e i s one of two c h o i c e s : t h i s p r o v i n c e must become e i t h e r P r u s s i a n & Lutheran, or P o l i s h and C a t h o l i c . There i s no t h i r d course" (153). D a n t i s c u s sees the " c o r r u p t i o n " of the f o c a r i a b u s i n e s s as damaging f o r Ermland's autonomy, i n the sense . t h a t f o r Ermland t o be secure, i t must always appear t o be t a k i n g the h i g h moral ground. Of course, D a n t i s i c u s i s only u s i n g t h i s as a ruse to e x e r c i s e power over the astronomer. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the f a c t t h a t Copernicus e f f e c t i v e l y r e f u s e s t o b a n i s h Anna r e v e a l s h i s d e s i r e to break orthodox systems, whether t h e o r e t i c a l or p o l i t i c a l . V. R h e t i c u s The e x p l o r a t i o n of Copernicus's t h e o r i e s i s c a r r i e d out i n the t h i r d s e c t i o n of the novel, the n a r r a t i v e of R h e t i c u s , a memoir of the f o u r years the young d i s c i p l e spends wi t h the master. I t should be p o i n t e d out t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s R h e t i c u s i s f a r more d i s t a n t from the h i s t o r i c a l R h e t i c u s than B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus from the h i s t o r i c a l C o p e r n i c u s . Rheticus p r o v o c a t i v e l y a s s e r t s t h a t he knows the " t r u t h " behind Copernicus's theory. He c l a i m s t o have known the man h i m s e l f , and so h i s account must be gauged wit h the same r e s e r v e t h a t we read those b i o g r a p h i e s by Moore and Boswell of Sheridan and Johnson r e s p e c t i v e l y . The f i r s t two s e c t i o n s of Doctor Copernicus, we w i l l r e c a l l , 125 cover the astronomer's l i f e up t o age s i x t y — s i x or t h e r e a b o u t s . R h e t i c u s ' s d i s c o u r s e continues the chronology and confirms a number of our impressions about the l i f e of the g r e a t man. Having s a i d t h a t , we are very c o n s c i o u s t h a t the source of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s u n r e l i a b l e i n c e r t a i n r e s p e c t s , though not i n the e s s e n t i a l s . The seat of t h i s u n r e l i a b i l i t y r e s i d e s i n the f a c t t h a t R h e t i c u s i s w r i t i n g h i s memoir—autobiography t o prove t h a t he has been g r o s s l y punished (he has been sent t o l a n g u i s h i n the p r o v i n c e s ) . R h e t i c u s ' s o v e r b e a r i n g nature and c o n c e i t warn us t h a t we should be c a r e f u l as readers i n t a k i n g a l l t h a t he says at face v a l u e . W i t h i n the " I " of h i s d i s c o u r s e , he r e f e r s to Copernicus as an " o l d f o o l " and " f r i e n d . " We are amused t h a t Rheticus i s now p h y s i c i a n t o a Count who i s regarded as "mad"; indeed, the astronomer seems aware t h a t he, too, i s regarded so. D e s p i t e our doubts co n c e r n i n g R h e t i c u s ' s d e l u s i o n s of grandeur, we are prepared to accept h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s because they a c c o r d w i t h the impressions l e f t by the p r e v i o u s n a r r a t o r ( s ) , and we cannot argue one way or another why Rheticus would f i n d i t i n h i s i n t e r e s t s t o l i e about c e r t a i n i s s u e s and e x p e r i e n c e s . R h e t i c u s p r o v i d e s i n s i g h t not only i n t o Copernicus as a human being, but a l s o i n t o h i s flawed t h e o r i e s . In a d d i t i o n , he complicates our views of Giese, Anna, and D a n t i s c u s . Rheticus a l s o p r o v i d e s the reader with the n o v e l ' s only r e a l humour: we are c o n s t a n t l y amused at the 126 fundamental P r o t e s t a n t view of C a t h o l i c Copernicus and h i s h o r r o r at the " b l o o d s t a i n e d i d o l s " (161) which surround him. As an impatient n a r r a t o r , Rheticus puts forward h i s t h e s i s sentence very e a r l y on i n h i s n a r r a t i v e : "Copernicus d i d not b e l i e v e i n t r u t h . He had no f a i t h i n t r u t h " (163). To g i v e a u t h o r i t y t o h i s account, Rheticus c l a i m s he saw the core of Copernicus, "the t r u e t h i n g , a c o l d b r i l l i a n t o b j e c t l i k e a diamond" (169). T h i s i s c o n s i s t e n t with R h e t i c u s ' s a s t r o n o m i c a l claims t h a t he improved upon Copernicus by a c t u a l l y f i n d i n g the " t h i n g i t s e l f " . His " s e e i n g " Copernicus i m i t a t e s Copernicus s e e i n g r e a l i t y , "the t h i n g i t s e l f . " A l s o , i t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t "the person h i m s e l f " i s the b i o g r a p h i c a l e q u i v a l e n t of Copernicus's a s t r o n o m i c a l t a s k . However, Rh e t i c u s ' s i n s i g h t , i f we can c a l l i t t h a t , i s s p e e d i l y undermined humorously by the n a r r a t i v e form, wit h i t s frequent s e l f — c o n s c i o u s a s i d e s i n p a r e n t h e s e s — "(not l i k e a diamond, but I am i n a h u r r y ) " (169). R h e t i c u s l o a t h e s the u p r i g h t nature of both Giese and Copernicus; he regards them as people who used words to a v o i d the harsh r e a l i t i e s of the world. T h i s supreme egotism on R h e t i c u s ' s p a r t i s not without f o u n d a t i o n : i n h i s own work on the problem of the o r b i t Mars he dashes from w a l l t o w a l l i n exaggeration, u n t i l r e f l e c t i n g , "Good, Rheticus, very good! You have found what you sought, f o r j u s t as you have w h i r l e d  about t h i s room, j u s t so does Mars w h i r l i n the heavens!" (195) Here Rheticus attempts to t r a n s c e n d the s u b j e c t — o b j e c t 127 d i v i d e by p h y s i c a l l y i m i t a t i n g the movement, as observed, of the p l a n e t Mars. Giese wishes Rheticus t o stay and persuade the Canon t o r e l e a s e h i s manuscript. T h i s g i v e s R h e t i c u s courage t o c o n f r o n t . C o p e r n i c u s over the book and, having done so, he i s p r i v y t o i t s c o n t e n t s . We are never sure i f R h e t i c u s i s c o r r e c t i n wondering t h a t perhaps t h e r e i s c o l l u s i o n between Copernicus and Giese to have the Lutheran p u b l i s h a C a t h o l i c work. L i k e Rheticus, we are u n c l e a r about the p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s . I t may be t h a t R heticus i s simply o v e r s t a t i n g h i s case i n an attempt to f i n d reasons f o r banishment. C e r t a i n l y , Giese's p r o v i s i o n of paper and w r i t i n g implements f o r Rheticus to copy the master's work i s no d i r e c t i n d i c a t i o n of any c o n s p i r a c y . For R h e t i c u s , however, t r u t h appears to be hidden i n c o n s p i r a c i e s . R h e t i c u s ' s appeals to Copernicus t o l e t h i s manuscript be p u b l i s h e d f a l l at f i r s t on deaf ears, with the aging astronomer appearing most c o n s e r v a t i v e — " w e must f o l l o w the methods of the a n c i e n t s ! " (184). But i f Rheticus i s t o be b e l i e v e d , Copernicus's h e s i t a t i o n s are g u i s e s , and every now and then he l e t s some r e v e a l i n g statement emerge from h i s u s u a l l y c l o s e d l i p s . Such a remark i s h i s b e l i e f t h a t Ptolemy's t h e o r i e s (and by i m p l i c a t i o n h i s own work) are f a r more e f f i c i e n t at "computing" the i n e x i s t e n t or the unobservable world than e x i s t e n c e or the observable world. In t h i s way, Copernicus seems to be s a y i n g t h a t h i s work's 128 v a l u e l i e s i n f i x i n g the boundaries of knowledge r a t h e r than o f f e r i n g d e f i n i t i v e statements about knowledge. The d i s c u s s i o n s with Copernicus b r i n g out a number of i s s u e s germane t o man's r e l a t i o n t o the u n i v e r s e . R h e t i c u s argues t h a t Copernicus's book i s of great r e l e v a n c e t o men because i t i s t a n g i b l e and not a f l i g h t of fancy. Copernicus r e p l i e s n e g a t i v e l y i n the language of P r o f e s s o r Brudzewski t h a t s u b j e c t and o b j e c t are i r r e c o n c i l a b l e and t h a t s e e i n g i s not p e r c e p t i o n or knowledge. That o b s e r v a t i o n i s merely o b s e r v a t i o n . With t y p i c a l u n c e r t a i n t y , Copernicus f u r t h e r argues, "My book i s not s c i e n c e — i t i s a dream" (207) . Rheticus f i n i s h e s copying the manuscript and then t h e r e i s an extremely s t y l i z e d , i t a l i c i z e d d i s c u s s i o n i n which the u n i t i e s of time are denied by q u o t a t i o n s from t w e n t i e t h century t e x t s by E i n s t e i n , Planck, Eddington, Kierkegaard, and Stevens. These statements are not acknowledged i n the n a r r a t i v e (they are acknowledged i n an ending note on page 24 4) but a c t i v e l y put i n t o the mouths of Rhet i c u s and Copernicus. T h i s n a r r a t i v e experiment marks the p o i n t at which the aging astronomer hands over h i s manuscript. But bef o r e he does so, he e x p l a i n s h i s l i f e work t o R h e t i c u s i n p e s s i m i s t i c , almost f r i g h t e n i n g terms: When you have once seen the chaos, you must make something t o set between y o u r s e l f and t h a t t e r r i b l e s i g h t : and so you make a m i r r o r , t h i n k i n g t h a t i n i t s h a l l be r e f l e c t e d the r e a l i t y of the world; but then you understand t h a t the m i r r o r r e f l e c t s only appearance, and t h a t r e a l i t y i s somewhere e l s e , o f f behind the 129 mirror; and then you remember that behind the mirror there i s only the chaos. (209) Rheticus takes up Copernicus's point about chaos, for a f t e r he i s disgraced and not even referred to i n the preface of De Revolutionibus, he thinks that the "engine" devised by Copernicus destroys i t s e l f i n i t s fau l t y d e t a i l . He also thinks that the sun—centred universe, much touted, i s only a ha l f — t r u t h , for what the t r e a t i s e actually implies i s that the centre of the universe i s some distance from the sun, i n space, i n nothing, so much so that "the world turns upon chaos" (218). This i s too apocalyptic a v i s i o n for Rheticus who appears to reason that though f i c t i o n s are everywhere, the knowledge that "this planet s h a l l be the centre of a l l we know" (220), should s u f f i c e . VI. Science and Ge o p o l i t i c a l R e a l i t i e s The l u s t for power of his superiors complicates the l i n k between science and public policy, and af f e c t s Copernicus's l i v i n g and working conditions, as exemplified e a r l i e r with Dantiscus and Anna S c h i l l i n g s . The p o l i t i c a l ambitions of his uncle, who wants d i s c i p l e s , determines much of the education of Andreas and Copernicus. Copernicus faces the p o l i t i c a l and s c i e n t i f i c meshing head on i n his confrontations with Professors Brudzweski and Novara and with Emperor Albrecht. Each meeting delivers a body blow to 130 any hope t h a t s c i e n t i f i c t heory can succeed by m e r i t a l o n e : i t has t o be s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d . I t i s no a c c i d e n t t h a t i n the f i r s t e d i t i o n of the n o v e l a map of Europe i n 1500 i s p r o v i d e d . The many s t a t e s and s t a t e l e t s are comparable t o competing t h e o r i e s , a muscular s t r u g g l e f o r supremacy. T h i s s t r u g g l e f o r harmony i s a l l i e d t o Copernicus's d e s i r e f o r harmony i n both h i s p e r s o n a l l i f e and astronomy. As a diplomat f o r h i s e x c e e d i n g l y p o l i t i c a l Uncle Bishop Lucas, Copernicus has t o d e a l with the everyday presence of warring f a c t i o n s . Of p a r t i c u l a r importance are the i s s u e s of a l l e g i a n c e and n a t i o n a l i t y . P e t i t i o n e r s p u l l him t h i s way and t h a t , t o the extent t h a t he becomes aware t h a t n a t i o n s are j u s t a s e r i e s of s p i e s of c o n f l i c t i n g names, "one more mask" (94). S t i l l the n o m i n a l i s t , he a s s e r t s h i s own name. ^ Nonetheless, he r e q u i r e s a b e t t e r and more d e t a i l e d d e f i n i t i o n of h i m s e l f to s a t i s f y v a r i o u s p a r t i e s . Although Uncle Lucas i n s i s t s he i s an Ermlander, Poland, Royal P r u s s i a , East P r u s s i a , and even I t a l y have l e g i t i m a t e claims upon him throughout h i s l i f e . C opernicus i s born i n Torun i n Royal P r u s s i a , moves t o s c h o o l i n Poland, then on to u n i v e r s i t y i n I t a l y b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g t o work f o r h i s Uncle i n Ermland, t u s s l i n g i n the p r o c e s s with an ambitious East P r u s s i a . The p o i n t here i s t h a t i n terms of p o l i t i c a l geography, one can view the many powers as s a t e l l i t e s of an absent centre, i n the same way t h a t Copernicus's theory, though h e l i o c e n t r i c , i s i n f a c t (as R h e t i c u s p o i n t s out with apparent glee) a system r e v o l v i n g around a " c e n t r e " some d i s t a n c e from the sun. More mundanely, Emperor A l b r e c h t g i v e s a b s t r a c t concepts or th e o r y a d e c i d e d l y p o l i t i c a l and t e r r i t o r i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . When Copernicus t r a v e l s t o A l b r e c h t i n the hope of s t a v i n g o f f war, he p l e a d s : 'you are contemplating waging war f o r the sake of s p o r t . What i s Ermland t o you, or Royal P r u s s i a ? What i s Poland even?' A l b r e c h t had been e x p e c t i n g something of the s o r t f o r he answered at once: 'They are g l o r y , Herr Doctor, they are p o s t e r i t y ! 'I do not understand t h a t . ' 'But you do, I t h i n k . ' 'No. Glory, p o s t e r i t y , these are a b s t r a c t concepts. I do not understand such t h i n g s . ' 'You, D o c t o r ? — y o u do not understand a b s t r a c t concepts, you who have expressed the e t e r n a l t r u t h s of the world i n j u s t such terms? Come, s i r ! ' (136) The map within, the map p r o v i d e d i n the f i r s t e d i t i o n suggests a connec t i o n between drawing and redrawing of boundaries of the known world. In the novel g e n e r a l l y , B a n v i l l e a l s o connects, q u i t e unusual f o r a " s c i e n t i f i c b i o g r a p h e r , " Copernicus's seeking f o r h i s own i d e n t i t y w i t h h i s s e eking of the workings of the u n i v e r s e . Two w i l y f i g u r e s i n f l u e n c e h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l u n derstanding of the s o c i a l process i n v o l v i n g s c i e n t i f i c theory, though i n extremely d i f f e r e n t ways: P r o f e s s o r s 132 Brudzewski and Novara. Brudzewski serves as a c e r e b r a l f o i l t o the young Copernicus. The P r o f e s s o r r e p r e s e n t s the worn—out o r t h o d o x i e s of Ptolemaic r e s p e c t a b i l i t y which are anathema t o Copernicus. I t i s more complicated than t h i s , s i n c e Brudzewski i s a "prime c o n s p i r a t o r " (34), i n the sense t h a t the P r o f e s s o r supports Ptolemy's t h e o r i e s as c o n s c i o u s l y f a l s e p r o p o s i t i o n s , as i f they were t r u e . Copernicus i s young and unsure of h i m s e l f i n t h i s i n f l u e n t i a l meeting, because he cannot see beyond the knowledge t h a t Ptolemy's e d i f i c e i s deeply cracked; he has yet t o o f f e r a p e r s u a s i v e a l t e r n a t i v e . Copernicus mumbles vaguely about the " p r i n c i p a l t h i n g " (34), by which he means the " t h i n g — i n — i t s e l f . " However, Brudzewski undermines t h i s by p o i n t i n g out t h a t i t i s im p o s s i b l e t o d e l i n e a t e the u n i v e r s e ' s shape, s i n c e t h e r e i s no d i r e c t r e l a t i o n between the i n d i v i d u a l who looks up and the sky which looks down. I r o n i c a l l y , t h i s sentiment i s u t t e r e d t o Rh e t i c u s by Copernicus when i t comes h i s time t o adopt the r o l e of sage (206). Even i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n with Brudzewski, Copernicus l o s e s h e a r t , t h i n k i n g , "what can we know t h a t i s not of o u r s e l v e s ? " (35). Strangely, he does not e x p l o r e t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . I t would l e a d him t o worrying s u b j e c t i v e concerns. T h i s q u o t a t i o n i s a l s o the v a l i d a t i n g p r i n c i p l e u n d e r l y i n g the whole n o v e l : t h a t which appears o b j e c t i v e comprises much s u b j e c t i v i t y . F i n a l l y , i t i s Brudzewski's c u t t i n g , a l b e i t p e r c e p t i v e , comment t h a t rocks Copernicus: " L i s t e n t o me: You are 133 c o n f u s i n g astronomy with p h i l o s o p h y . . . . You are a s k i n g our s c i e n c e to perform t a s k s which i t i s i n c a p a b l e of p e r f o r m i n g . Astronomy does not d e s c r i b e the u n i v e r s e as i t i s [ e x p l a i n i n g the phenomenon], but only as we observe i t [sa v i n g the phenomenon]" (35). Copernicus's changing of the agenda of s c i e n t i f i c i n q u i r y i s a quantum leap i n t o areas t h a t l e a v e the astronomer very open to t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c i s m . Even Copernicus's i n v o c a t i o n of Columbus does not sway Brudzewski, because he doubts the "proof." He does not accept t h a t Columbus a c t u a l l y d i s c o v e r e d a New World. T h i s scene r e i t e r a t e s the p o i n t Max Planck makes i n h i s memoirs t h a t i t takes many years f o r any "proof" t o be g e n e r a l l y accepted and i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h . I t i s , as yet, i n P r o f e s s o r ' s Brudzewski's world, a f o o l h a r d y attempt to combine astronomy and p h i l o s o p h y i n t o a new paradigm. A f t e r t h i s drubbing, i t i s with some d e s p e r a t i o n t h a t Copernicus t r i e s t o h o l d f a s t t o h i s b e l i e f s i n " t h i n g s " not "names" ( i n f l u e n c e of Wodka) and i n " e x p l a i n i n g " the phenomena ( p o s s i b l e i n f l u e n c e of h i s p a r e n t s ' e a r l y deaths), but he has yet to make the c r e a t i v e l e a p t h a t w i l l combine ph i l o s o p h y and s c i e n c e i n t o a workable paradigm. So, i n t h i s sense, when Brudzewski accuses him of b e i n g an u n w i t t i n g n o m i n a l i s t , he i s c o r r e c t . ^ While s t i l l t r y i n g t o assess h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l p o s i t i o n v i s a v i s astronomy, the p a l e s p e c t r e of P r o f e s s o r Novara p r e s e n t s i t s e l f . Novara i s l o o k i n g f o r an extremely b r i g h t 134 "puppet" f o r h i s p o l i t i c a l p l a n s , but Copernicus f e e l s detached, "a l i t t l e P r u s s i a i n the midst of I t a l y " (53), and adamantly s t a t e s t h a t he b e l i e v e s i n n o t h i n g more than mathematics. The excesses of homosexuality c a s t a warning shadow over h i s mind, p a r t i c u l a r l y when he sees Novara's motley c a b a l . The group comes across as almost an o c c u l t f o r c e , which he f e e l s i s not f o r him but which parades a p h i l o s o p h y t h a t Copernicus b e l i e v e s as another competing theory of e x p l a i n i n g phenomena: N i c o l a s had a l r e a d y heard of the strange a e t h e r i a l p h i l o s o p h y of t h i s T h r i c e — G r e a t Hermes, T r i s m e g i s t u s the Egyptian, wherein the u n i v e r s e i s conceived as a vast g r i d of dependencies and sympathetic a c t i o n c o n t r o l l e d by the seven p l a n e t s , or Seven Governors as T r i s m e g i s t u s c a l l e d them. I t was a l l a l t o g e t h e r too r a d d l e d with c a b a l i s t i c o b s c u r i t i e s f o r N i c o l a s ' s s c e p t i c a l n o r t h e r n s o u l , yet he found deeply and m y s t e r i o u s l y moving the g n o s t i c ' s d r e a d f u l need to d i s c e r n i n the chaos of the world a redemptive u n i v e r s a l u n i t y . (55) I n s t i n c t i v e l y , Copernicus b e l i e v e s t h a t t h i s group's p o l i t i c i z a t i o n of astronomy i s dangerously f a l s e . They wish t o u t i l i z e h i s " p r o o f s " of h i s new theory t o wrench power from what they see as a bad Pope: What i f our young astronomer, at the end of t h i s two or t h r e e years of s e c l u s i o n , s hould t r a v e l t o P r u s s i a and present to h i s uncle the p r o o f s of h i s new theory? I t i s w e l l known t h a t the Bishop of Ermland i s no f r i e n d of Rome's . . . . In t h a t b a t t l e , then, between a theory m a t h e m a t i c a l l y v e r i f i e d and vouched f o r beyond a l l doubt, and a bad Pope, who, we wondered, would be l i k e l y t o win? (59) 135 S e n s i b l y , Copernicus r e f u s e s t o be seduced both p h y s i c a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y at t h i s meeting. The dangers so e v i d e n t i n Novara's s c e n a r i o makes the astronomer's f e a r of p u b l i c a t i o n q u i t e understandable. L a t e r , Copernicus i s t o have an acrimonious meeting with Novara, at a time when the o l d p r o f e s s o r i s dying and a l l h i s schemes are thwarted. L i k e Wodka and Brudzewski b e f o r e him, Novara e x p l a i n s t o the arrogant young astronomer t h a t people need l i e s or myths t o s u s t a i n themselves, and p a r t of the i n t e l l e c t u a l ' s job i s t o c o n f i r m c o n s c i o u s l y f a l s e p r o p o s i t i o n s : "You must t r y t o understand t h a t men have need of answers, a r t i c l e s of f a i t h , m y t h s — l i e s , i f you w i l l " (63). Although Copernicus r e j e c t s Novara, t h i s " l o r e " i s co-opted and, indeed, r e l a y e d t o Rh e t i c u s much l a t e r : "When you have once seen the chaos, you must make something t o set between y o u r s e l f and t h a t t e r r i b l e s i g h t : and so you make a m i r r o r " (209). As Copernicus s t r i v e s at the working out or v e r i f i c a t i o n of h i s theory, he r e t u r n s i r o n i c a l l y enough t o the t e x t s suggested by Novara i n the c l a s s e s t h a t he had attended as a student. In a c c e d i n g t o the p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s work, t h e r e may be an acceptance of Novara's p o i n t t h a t the world needs such " f i c t i o n s , " i f only t o s u s t a i n f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . Very t e n t a t i v e l y , then, Copernicus e n t e r s the p o l i t i c a l realm through.his c r e a t i v e a c t s . The p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s L a t i n t r a n s l a t i o n s of Simocatta c o u l d have been cons t r u e d by h i s own Church as a p o l i t i c a l a ct, i n the sense 136 t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t e d (by c h o i c e of subject) a b e l i e f i n humanism and a c r i t i c i s m of the fundamentalism of both the C a t h o l i c and Lutheran Churches. However l u d i c r o u s or n e g l i b l e t h i s might appear ( i t seems so t o C o p e r n i c u s ) , i t p l a y s a p a r t i n h i s r e l u c t a n c e to seek p u b l i c a t i o n of g e n e r a l l y unacceptable s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. The major scene t h a t i n t r o d u c e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p o l i t i c s and paradigms of a s c i e n t i f i c nature i s t h a t i n v o l v i n g A l b r e c h t and Copernicus. Duke A l b r e c h t i s l e a d e r of the Teutonic Knights (East P r u s s i a ) . He wishes t o break Poland's h o l d on Royal P r u s s i a by j o i n i n g , the l a t t e r w ith East P r u s s i a and presumably Ermland. Copernicus by t h i s t u r n of events has become Land Provost f o r the s t a t e of Ermland, with h i s c e n t r e of o p e r a t i o n s at A l l e n s t e i n . In t h i s p e r i o d of h i g h o f f i c e , Copernicus r e l i n q u i s h e s much of h i s a s t r o n o m i c a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r the cares of the here and now, even t o the p o i n t of d i s t r i b u t i n g a t r e a t i s e of h i s on the debased monetary system of P r u s s i a . A l b r e c h t draws a comparison between Copernicus's t o o l s [mathematics] and h i s t o o l s [the people] to achieve the "supreme f i c t i o n s " t h a t are the l o t of the " l o f t y s u f f e r i n g of the hero" (136): You and I, mein Freund, we are l o r d s of the e a r t h , the great ones, the major men, the makers of supreme f i c t i o n s . . . . The p e o p l e — p e a s a n t s , s o l d i e r s , g e n e r a l s — t h e y are my t o o l , as mathematics i s yours, by which I come d i r e c t l y at the t r u e , the e t e r n a l , the r e a l . (136) 137 T h i s s t r i k e s a chord i n the sense t h a t Copernicus i s r e l u c t a n t t o draw a theory from experience; r a t h e r , he would l i k e t o c o n f i r m a theory by e x p e r i e n c e . O b s e r v a t i o n i s thus t h e o r y — l a d e n . One suspects here the g e n e r a l i n f l u e n c e on B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l of E i n s t e i n , who argued t h a t experience can support or r e f u t e a theory, but a theory cannot be b u i l t from e x p e r i e n c e . ^ V I I . Some Co n c l u s i o n s The c o n s t r u c t i o n of the s u b j e c t i n f i c t i o n i s most commonly achieved by having one c e n t r a l consciousness or c h a r a c t e r through whose eyes the reader can p i c t u r e a d i s t i n c t world. B a n v i l l e ' s Doctor Copernicus f r u s t r a t e s any easy path t o t h a t world by f i r s t l y u t i l i z i n g an impersonal and u n s p e c i f i e d n a r r a t o r f o r s e c t i o n s one, two, and f o u r ; and, secondly, by u t i l i z i n g the impassioned " I " d i s c o u r s e of Copernicus's " p u p i l , " Rheticus, i n s e c t i o n t h r e e . J u s t as Copernicus cannot s e i z e the " t r u e " e x p l a n a t i o n of the phenomenon, so we, too, cannot s e i z e the essence of Copernicus, the apparent s c i e n t i f i c g e n ius. The s e r i e s of blockages i n the t e x t are both i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l . At f i r s t Copernicus does not understand these s o c i a l f o r m a t i v e f a c t o r s , what I have d i s c u s s e d above as " e x t r a -s c i e n t i f i c . " I t i s as i f two p a r a l l e l l i n e s are r e c o g n i z e d by the astronomer, but then he r e s i s t s a c c e p t i n g t h a t i t i s o n l y he who i s s u s t a i n i n g the gap between them. Copernicus 138 v a l u e s i n t u i t i o n i n s c i e n c e without a n a l y z i n g e x a c t l y what t h a t m e a n s — e s s e n t i a l l y a n o n r a t i o n a l leap of f a i t h . S ince we are p r e s e n t e d with l i t t l e t e c h n i c a l m a t e r i a l d e a l i n g with Copernicus's De R e v o l u t i o n i b u s , i t i s not so much scienc e — i n — t h e — m a k i n g t h a t i s important as s c i e n c e — i n — i t s — j u s t i f i c a t i o n . That i s , the n o v e l s t r e s s e s how t h e o r i e s have t o be s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d . Furthermore, the novel s t r e s s e s the s c i e n t i s t ' s s o c i a l and b i o g r a p h i c a l i n f l u e n c e s : how f a m i l y , s c h o o l , u n i v e r s i t y , l o v e d ones, c o l l e a g u e s , church, and p o l i t i c s s t r u c t u r e one's i d e a s , f r e q u e n t l y b r i n g i n g two u n l i k e concepts t o g e t h e r t o c r e a t e a unique s y n t h e s i s . 139 Notes t o Chapter Three 1 The s i x c l a s s i c a l terms he c h o o s e s — C l i n a m e n , Tessera, Kenosis, Daemonization, A s k e s i s , and A p o p h r a d e s — c a n be t r a n s l a t e d r e s p e c t i v e l y as "swerve away," " r e c o g n i t i o n , " " d i s c o n t i n u i t y , " "expansion of o r i g i n a l , " " t r u n c a t i o n , " and "comparison." z See R. Hooykaas (1984). In t h i s work, Hooykaas. argues t h a t R h e t i c u s always r e v e r e d h i s t e a c h e r and t h a t i n subsequent p u b l i c a t i o n s he t r i e d t o support h i s master's t h e o r i e s of the heavens and, i n some cases, b u i l d upon them f o r h i s own work. Hooykaas makes no r e f e r e n c e t o any disagreement over the p r e f a c e by Osiander, although he does r e f e r o b l i q u e l y t o f a l s e i n f e r e n c e s by h i s t o r i a n s of s c i e n c e (149). Hooykaas i s s i l e n t on the assumed homosexuality of R h e t i c u s and says n o t h i n g about the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t Giese was unhappy with R h e t i c u s ' s treatment of Copernicus's manuscript. 3 Nominalism i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l theory t h a t a s s e r t s t h a t c l a s s e s of t h i n g s , such as "animal," " n a t i o n , " and " c i t y , " have no independent r e a l i t y o u t s i d e of the mind. T h e r e f o r e , terms such as " h e l i o c e n t r i s m " and "geocentrism" merely save the phenomena i n an i n t e l l e c t u a l sense; they do not e x p l a i n i t i n a p h y s i c a l sense. ^ Note E i n s t e i n ' s remark, " I t may be h e u r i s t i c a l l y u s e f u l t o keep i n mind what one has a c t u a l l y observed. But i n p r i n c i p l e , i t i s q u i t e wrong to t r y founding a t h e o r y on observable magnitudes alone. In r e a l i t y the very o p p o s i t e happens. I t i s the theory which decides what we can observe" (qtd. Holton, 277) . 140 Chapter Four Re—Ordering D i s o r d e r : B l u r r i n g Science and A r t i n K e p l e r Copernicus was dead f i f t y years, but now f o r Johannes he rose again, a mournful angel t h a t must be w r e s t l e d with b e f o r e he c o u l d p r e s s on to found h i s own system. he might sneer at the e p i c y c l e s and the equant p o i n t , but they were not to be d i s c a r d e d e a s i l y . The Canon from Ermland had been, he suspected, a g r e a t e r mathematician than ever S t y r i a ' s c a l e n d a r maker would be. Johannes raged a g a i n s t h i s own i n a d e q u a c i e s . He might know t h e r e was a d e f e c t , and a grave one, i n the Copernican system, but i t was a d i f f e r e n t matter to f i n d i t . N ights he would s t a r t awake t h i n k i n g he had heard the o l d man h i s adversary l a u g h i n g at him, goading him. (Kepler 24—5) [Kepler's] f i r s t p u b l i c defense of Copernicus was based upon h i s profound b e l i e f t h a t Copernicanism was u l t i m a t e l y c o n s i s t e n t with mysticism. ( N i c o l s o n 1956: 6) K e p l e r resembles Doctor Copernicus i n one very s t r o n g sense. I t i s a n o v e l which attempts t o capture the t r i b u l a t i o n s as w e l l as the successes of one of h i s t o r y ' s g r e a t e s t t h i n k e r s . I t i s a l s o a novel which s t r u g g l e s i n c e s s a n t l y with an a p p r o p r i a t e n a r r a t i v e frame. The book i s d i v i d e d i n t o f i v e s e c t i o n s : "Mysterium Cosmographicum," "Astronomia Nova," " D i o p t r i c e , " "Harmonice Mundi," and "Somnium." These are the names of K e p l e r ' s great works 141 (1596, 1609, 1611 , 1619, 1634) . In t h i s very simple way, B a n v i l l e f o r c e s the reader to c o n f l a t e K e p l e r ' s l i f e and work. B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l , however, i s an a s t u t e examination not so much of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y but of how s c i e n c e i s n e g o t i a t e d and j u s t i f i e d i n the s o c i a l realm. To e s t a b l i s h t h i s emphasis, one must f i r s t c o n s i d e r the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the n o v e l ' s formal d e v i c e s . Whereas the v a r i o u s n a r r a t o r s of Doctor Copernicus f u n c t i o n t o g e t h e r mostly i n a l i n e a r or c h r o n o l o g i c a l f a s h i o n , the dominant t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n of K e p l e r employs an extremely complex temporal and s p a t i a l network t o convey the biography of i t s astronomer. John B a n v i l l e has s a i d i n an i n t e r v i e w t h a t such p a t t e r n i n g i s an attempt t o i n t e g r a t e the a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c v i s i o n : One of K e p l e r ' s t h e o r i e s , h i s f a v o u r i t e , and h i s most deluded, was t h a t w i t h i n the i n t e r v a l s of the s i x p l a n e t s of the s o l a r system as he knew i t , c o u l d be i n s e r t e d the f i v e r e g u l a r polygons of geometry, the cube, the pyramid, e t c . Kepler, my l a t e s t book, i s c o n s t r u c t e d i n f i v e s e c t i o n s , the number of chapters i n each of the s e c t i o n s c o r r e s p o n d i n g to the number of s i d e s of each of the f i v e polygons, and a l l of the c h a p t e r s of equal l e n g t h w i t h i n the s e c t i o n . A l s o , the n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f i s c l o s e l y worked. Time i n each of the s e c t i o n s moves backward or forward to or from a p o i n t at the c e n t r e , t o form a k i n d of temporal o r b i t . But no s e c t i o n comes back e x a c t l y to i t s s t a r t i n g p o i n t , s i n c e , as K e p l e r d i s c o v e r e d , the p l a n e t s do not move i n c i r c l e s , but i n e l l i p s e s . ^ In h i s book on B a n v i l l e , Rudiger Imhof devotes many pages t o the d e t a i l e d working through of what the author has s t a t e d 142 above. ^ But o f t e n one f e e l s t h a t Imhof misses the wood because of the t r e e s . T h i s "wood" i s our u n derstanding t h a t an a r t i f a c t ' s framework determines what k i n d of c o n c l u s i o n s or d i s c o v e r i e s can be made by a r t i s t s and s c i e n t i s t s a l i k e . The n a r r a t i v e ' s i m i t a t i o n of K e p l e r ' s e a r l y astronomy i s , undeniably, a statement t h a t the conceptual models of a r t and s c i e n c e can o v e r l a p . In a d d i t i o n , i t seems t o me t h a t B a n v i l l e i n the q u o t a t i o n p r o v i d e s us with the s t r u c t u r e so t h a t we can move on t o the ideas t h a t support such s c a f f o l d i n g , ideas and themes which b l u r d i v i d i n g l i n e s between s c i e n c e and a r t . Furthermore, B a n v i l l e ' s " c o n f e s s i o n " r e v e a l s t o us a number of t h i n g s . F i r s t l y , he i s aware t h a t K e p l e r ' s v i s i o n of the world i s f a l s e t o today's s c i e n t i s t s and astronomers. However, as a t r u e c o n t e x t u a l i s t , B a n v i l l e seeks on l y t o account f o r the (Kuhnian) paradigm t h a t K e p l e r c r e a t e d , which, i n t u r n , n e c e s s i t a t e d a revamping of Copernicus' system and a r e j e c t i o n of Tycho Brahe's system. ^ These d i f f e r e n c e s w i l l be d e l i n e a t e d l a t e r . Secondly, we are s t r u c k t h a t the whole novel i s s t r u c t u r e d around ide a s of geometry e l a b o r a t e d upon i n K e p l e r ' s f i r s t work, Mysterium  Cosmographicum. T h i s i m p l i e s t h a t a whole l i f e ' s w r i t i n g can be understood i n r e l a t i o n t o e a r l y work (as Holton's " p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l " g u i d e l i n e s s u g g e s t ) . T h i r d l y , the temporal r e — o r d e r i n g throughout the novel not o n l y matches the e l l i p t i c a l path of the p l a n e t s (read s e c t i o n s ) but a l s o suggests t h a t step by step e m p i r i c a l t e s t i n g , and e m p i r i c a l 143 ways of l o o k i n g at and understanding the world are inadequate t o the t a s k of r e p r e s e n t i n g r e a l i t y and a c c o u n t i n g f o r c r e a t i v e a c t s which form s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. I am t h i n k i n g here, of course, of Kuhn and K o e s t l e r . Before these w r i t e r s , the p r o l i f i c M a r j o r i e N i c o l s o n i n Science and Imagination (1956) i n s i s t e d t h a t "Kepler remained, i n h i s own mind, f i r s t a mystic, second a s c i e n t i s t " (6). In the same i n t e r v i e w c i t e d above, B a n v i l l e appears t o seek t h i s very p e c u l i a r ground: Always I begin with the shape. But l e t me make a d i s t i n c t i o n , a very important one. The form of, say, Kepler, i s , i n i t s e l f wholly s y n t h e t i c , by which I mean t h a t i t i s imposed from o u t s i d e , yet by s y n t h e t i c I do not mean f a l s e , or i n s i n c e r e . I t i s , t h i s formal i m p o s i t i o n , the means by which I attempt to show f o r t h , i n the H e i d e g g e r i a n sense, the i n t u i t i v e shape of the p a r t i c u l a r work of a r t which i s Kepler, and which was t h e r e , i n v i o l a t e , b e f o r e and a f t e r the book was w r i t t e n . I am aware t h a t t h i s sounds s u s p i c i o u s l y l i k e m y s t i c i s m — o r hokum, i f you p r e f e r — b u t once again I can only say t h a t t h i s i s the way I work, the way I must work, and t h a t i t i s i n s i n c e r e , with the p e c u l i a r s i n c e r i t y of a r t . [his i t a l i c s ] (6—7) What a c r i t i c can draw from t h i s statement, apart from i t s i d e a l i s m , i s B a n v i l l e ' s b e l i e f i n i n t u i t i o n , a p r i o r i knowledge, and a c o v e r t b e l i e f t h a t meaning and shape have onl y t o be found not c r e a t e d . The pathway t o these hidden meanings i s not a smooth one. I t i s c o n s i s t e n t , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t the t e x t p r o v i d e s a s i t e f o r a whole amalgam of r e — o r d e r i n g d e v i c e s . The novel can g i v e the impression of a complete jigsaw but the p i e c e s f o r c e d t o g e t h e r i n the wrong 144 c o n f i g u r a t i o n . The reader has to be c r e a t i v e t o enjoy such a p u z z l e . The d e f a m i l i a r i z i n g techniques f a c i n g the reader f o r c e him, of course, t o examine h i s own epistemology. The movement of such h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c m e t a f i c t i o n a l t e c h n i q u e s t o f i c t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c biography and autobiography complicates pure n o t i o n s of s c i e n t i f i c p r o g r e s s i o n . To p r i v i l e g e constant r e — o r d e r i n g i s t o a t t a c k the assumed accumulative nature of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y or s c i e n c e — i n — t h e — m a k i n g as w e l l as the assumed o r d e r l y procedures i n v o l v e d i n the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of s c i e n c e . I r e a l i z e t h a t t h i s i s a c o n t e n t i o u s p o i n t , i n t h a t one may ask why should m e t a f i c t i o n a l techniques (however defined) or d e p a r t u r e s from a s i n g u l a r t h i r d person c h r o n o l o g i c a l n a r r a t i o n (with few d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s ) n e c e s s a r i l y a t t a c k our modern n o t i o n s of o r d e r l y a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge i n the s c i e n c e s . I b e l i e v e the answer here i s p a r t l y h i s t o r i c a l , s i n c e i n K e p l e r ' s time the f i e l d of i n q u i r y d i d not have today's r e s t r i c t i o n s or s p e c i a l i z a t i o n s , and was t h e r e f o r e open t o d i v e r s e i n f l u e n c e s ; and p a r t l y modern (a l a Kuhn), s i n c e I suspect t h a t B a n v i l l e takes s e r i o u s l y t h a t g r e a t advances are, by t h e i r very nature, d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s . The r e — o r d e r i n g d e v i c e s i n c l u d e temporal and s p a t i a l s l i p p a g e s . Of most i n t e r e s t are dreams ( i n c l u d i n g p r o l e p s i s ) , a s t r o l o g y as prophecy, and achrony through the e l l i p t i c a l arrangement of l e t t e r s i n "Harmonice Mundi." While each s e c t i o n of the novel i s of a d i f f e r e n t l e n g t h and of a d i f f e r e n t form than the next or p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n , the 145 p r e c i s e formal s t r u c t u r e s which s u s t a i n K e p l e r and the t e x t are i n t r i n s i c a l l y flawed s i n c e they are t r a c e a b l e back t o a s e l f — c o n s c i o u s l y d e f i c i e n t o r i g i n . As K e p l e r h i m s e l f puts i t i n a l e t t e r t o daughter Regina, "We are the flaw i n the c r y s t a l , the speck of g r i t which must be e j e c t e d from the s p i n n i n g sphere" (134). But t h a t sphere has been c o n s t r u c t e d by the s i g h t and i n s i g h t of "impure" human bei n g s . The opening r e — o r d e r i n g d e v i c e i s t h a t of dream, i n p a r t i c u l a r the image of the p e r f e c t egg and the number 0.00429. T h i s dream i n f o r m a t i o n i s a s i g n of p r o l e p s i s , which may be understood as a n a r r a t i v e d e v i c e which evokes i n advance a f u t u r e event. I t i s a form of prophecy which undermines l i n e a r c a u s a l i t y i n f i c t i o n as a whole. A d d i t i o n a l l y , i t c a s t s doubt on a s c i e n t i s t ' s l o g i c a l , accumulative process of d i s c o v e r y , s i n c e i t i s a n t i — e m p i r i c a l . Imhof has r i g h t l y commented upon another r e — o r d e r i n g d e v i c e : the s h i f t i n g i n tense w i t h i n many paragraphs i n K e p l e r (Imhof 107). A good example i s found i n one of the nov e l ' s f i n a l paragraphs: 111? Was he? His b l o o d s i z z l e d , and h i s he a r t was a m u f f l e d thunder i n h i s b r e a s t . He almost laughed: i t would be j u s t l i k e him, convinced a l l h i s l i f e t h a t death was imminent and then t o d i e i n happy ignorance. But no. "I must have been a s l e e p . " He s t r u g g l e d u p r i g h t i n h i s c h a i r , coughing, and spread unquiet hands to the f i r e . Show them, show them a l l , I ' l l never d i e . For i t was not death he had come here t o meet, but something 146 altogether other. Turn up a f l a t stone and there i t i s , myriad and p r o f l i g a t e ! "Such a dream I had, B i l l i g , such a dream. Es war doch so schon. (191) I think i t i s important to bring out strongly what t h i s technique provokes. It blurs the character of Kepler and the narrator, the main story and the narrative frame, the time of the narrative with the time of the narration. The narrator's b e l i e f i n a p r i o r i knowledge leads him to confirm the predestination of Kepler's l i f e and work. Astrology, of course, i s a form of prophecy; i t moves us into an area of predestination which, i n turn, l i n k s us to the world of Kepler and his fundamental Protestantism. In turn, we see connections between r e l i g i o n as a form of divine prophecy, and astrology as a form of pagan or secular prophecy. Astronomy has to f i n d i t s own way between these two poles. Furthermore, the achrony of the e l l i p t i c a l nature of the l e t t e r section of Kepler appears to undermine l i n e a r development. But Kepler, even i f conceived as a historiographic metafiction, merely releases time and hist o r y from inexorable progression; i t does not t o t a l l y undermine them. ^ What appears to be unresolved i n both Doctor Copernicus and Kepler i s t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p between his t o r y (actual events i n the past) and f i c t i o n (imagined extrapolations from these events). For the most part, Imhof presents the views of the h i s t o r i c a l Kepler (an i n t e r e s t i n g phrase i n i t s e l f ) as quoted by Arthur Koestler, as reason to praise 147 B a n v i l l e ' s f i c t i o n a l c o n s t r u c t (Imhof 105—6). Yet s u r e l y the whole p o i n t of h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c m e t a f i c t i o n i s t h a t the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c can not prove t h a t h i s t o r i c a l d i s c o u r s e i s i n h e r e n t l y s u p e r i o r t o , or more acc u r a t e than, a f i c t i o n a l d i s c o u r s e of an h i s t o r i c a l personage. In other words, the t r a d i t i o n a l d i v i s i o n between h i s t o r y and f i c t i o n i s rendered p r o b l e m a t i c . Since h i s t o r i c a l development i s c a s t i n t o doubt by the form of the novel, the reader senses t h a t s c i e n t i f i c and a s t r o n o m i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s , i n c l u d i n g t h e i r v e r i f i c a t i o n , can only be understood with r e g a r d t o predetermined d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s , i n v o l v i n g chance and random d e c i s i o n s . While B a n v i l l e ' s novel's s t r u c t u r e i m i t a t e s the a s t r o n o m i c a l order behind the s u p e r f i c i a l d i s o r d e r of K e p l e r ' s experience, the s t r u c t u r e a l s o suggests t h a t d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s are necessary f o r the advancement of k n o w l e d g e — t h e p r o v e r b i a l "quantum l e a p s " of r a d i c a l s c i e n c e . Perhaps i t needs t o be u n d e r l i n e d t h a t both K e p l e r and Doctor Copernicus are not c o n v e n t i o n a l t h i r d person b i o g r a p h i e s . W i t h i n each t e x t , f i r s t person " s l i p p a g e s " occur. The major s h i f t i n Doctor Copernicus i s the R h e t i c u s s e c t i o n , and i n K e p l e r i t i s the s e c t i o n of l e t t e r s arranged i n a c i r c u l a r or e l l i p t i c a l shape. In essence, at the c e n t r e of these t e x t s , s u b j e c t i v e r e c o l l e c t i o n s by memoir or by m i s s i v e s explode the d i s t a n c e normally a l l o t t e d t o or d e s i r e d by b i o g r a p h i c a l p r o j e c t s . The n a r r a t o r ' s f a i l u r e t o c o n t e x t u a l i z e o v e r t l y i n Kepler helps t o pose the q u e s t i o n : 148 can human beings embarked upon the s c i e n t i f i c p u r s u i t escape t h e i r s u b j e c t i v e f e e l i n g s or can they knowingly (or c o n s c i o u s l y ) i n c o r p o r a t e them i n t o t h e i r system b u i l d i n g ? I t i s the l a t t e r p o i n t which appears t o be r e i f i e d i n B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l s . In K e p l e r , the H o l t o n i a n / E i n s t e i n i a n " p e r s o n a l s t r u g g l e " of the s c i e n t i s t i s f u r t h e r e d by the apparent B a n v i l l e a n p r i n c i p l e t h a t when s c i e n c e as method and o b s e r v a t i o n r e t r e a t s , i n t u i t i o n and c r e a t i v e s e n s i b i l i t y advance. ^ In a number of areas i n the t e x t , metaphysics, i n t u i t i o n and c r e a t i v i t y are confronted, d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y . A f t e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the g e n e r a l t o p i c of order from d i s o r d e r , t h i s chapter e x p l o r e s K e p l e r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with a number of p s y c h o b i o g r a p h i c a l aspects, i n c l u d i n g the brotherhood of s c i e n c e , r e l i g i o n , a s t r o l o g y , p h y s i c a l i z a t i o n , and dreams. D i s c u s s i o n of these t o p i c s w i l l i n e v i t a b l y r a i s e q u e s t i o n s — a n d some an s w e r s — a b o u t the r o l e of the s c i e n t i s t i n s o c i e t y and how h i s ideas are developed w i t h i n an a r t i s t i c and s o c i a l framework. I. Order From D i s o r d e r K e p l e r ' s dominant quest i s to e s t a b l i s h a semblance of order out of d i s o r d e r . T h i s i s h i s s c i e n c e , h i s u l t i m a t e achievement when s e t t i n g down c e r t a i n laws of geometry. However, what i s i r o n i c i n Ke p l e r ' s t r a v e l s i s t h a t he p e r p e t u a l l y c o n f r o n t s the h o r r o r of d i s o r d e r . At times, he 149 thinks that order i s separate from disorder, i s to be found, not created, from everyday experience. When he arri v e s at Tycho Brahe's Castle Benatek, the sympathetic narrator remarks, "Surely here disorder would not dare show i t s l e e r i n g face" (6). One can only think of Copernicus' l a b e l l i n g of the sick and diseased Andreas i n t h i s statement. Kepler i s soon disenchanted with his new abode: " t h i s grey, these deformities, the clamour and confusion of other l i v e s , t h i s f a m i l i a r — 0 f a m i l i a r ! — d i s o r d e r " (6). The hyperbole here conveys Kepler's almost constant indignant nature, but also conveys his energetic mind, one which stubbornly refuses to accept less than adequate conditions. Hence his angry feel i n g s : "0 f a m i l i a r indeed: disorder had been the condition of his l i f e from the beginning" (11). His playing at astronomy, and i t i s a form of play, becomes "a thing apart, a realm of order to set against the ramshackle r e a l world in which he was imprisoned" (20). But the way he comes to his ideas i s a reordering of disorder, p r e c i p i t a t e d when "A chaos of ideas and images churned within him" (23). The leap from viewing ideas as chaotic to viewing observable r e a l i t y as equally chaotic i s not a d i f f i c u l t one fo r Kepler. What he does f i n d problematic i s seeing something salvageable from the chaos of observable r e a l i t y . For example, at the Duke's palace, the revelry disturbs him: 150 "The t a b l e and these people, and the h a l l behind them wit h i t s jumbled h i e r a r c h y of other t a b l e s , the s c u r r y i n g s e r v a n t s and the uproar of the crowd at feed, a l l of i t was suddenly a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of i r r e m e d i a b l e d i s o r d e r " (34) T h i s i n s t a n c e of d i s o r d e r c l e a r l y u n s e t t l e s Kepler, yet a s i m i l a r e x p e r i e n c e i n Winckelmann's company and home a l l a y many of these f e a r s . At f i r s t he sees Winckelmann's workshop: "The f l o o r and the workbenches were a d i s o r d e r of broken moulds and s p i l t sand and wads of o i l y rag, a l l b l u r r e d under a b l u i s h f i l m of g r i n d i n g f l o u r " (46). From t h i s r e l a t i v e l y p e a c e f u l d e s c r i p t i o n , he advances t o se e i n g d i s o r d e r as merely a complex order: "The world abounded f o r him now i n s i g n a t u r e and form. He brooded i n c o n s t e r n a t i o n on the c o m p l e x i t i e s of snowflakes" (49) . ^ Of course, h i s examples have a very d e f i n i t e shape and t e x t u r e , and he f i n d s d i f f i c u l t y i n a d d r e s s i n g l e s s d e f i n e d o b j e c t s or landscapes g r e a t e r than the eye can see. We sense t h i s problem i n the moment when Kep l e r i s t r a v e l l i n g i n an uncomfortable c a r r i a g e away from Benatek C a s t l e a f t e r yet another argument with Tycho Brahe. The sympathetic n a r r a t o r r e c o u n t s : "His world was patched t o g e t h e r from the wreckage of an i n f i n i t e l y f i n e r , immemorial d w e l l i n g p l a c e ; the p i e c e s were p r e c i o u s and l o v e l y , enough t o break h i s hea r t , but they d i d not f i t " (58). P u t t i n g p i e c e s t o g e t h e r i s the s u b j e c t of " D i o p t r i c e , " [the work i t s e l f looks at the r e f r a c t i v e q u a l i t i e s of len s e s ] the r e t u r n t o W e i l d e r s t a d t , K e p l e r ' s home town. The 151 reader may q u e s t i o n why the novel pauses on t h i s v i s i t of a few days f o r a whole s e c t i o n . The answer l i e s i n the n a r r a t o r ' s comment t h a t a l l the p h y s i c a l l o c a t i o n s seemed "unaware t h a t h i s memory had long ago reduced i t a l l t o a waxwork model" (87). In other words, the t h i n g i t s e l f , j u s t as B a n v i l l e ' s Copernicus understood i t , i s so much more e l u s i v e (as a d i s o r d e r e d e n t i t y ) than the (ordered) t h e o r e t i c a l system he has commonly used t o l a b e l the p a s t . His ordered d i s o r d e r comes i n snatches of memory, as the f o l l o w i n g suggests: K e p l e r suddenly r e c a l l e d a sunny E a s t e r Sunday long ago, when h i s g r a n d f a t h e r was s t i l l a l i v e , one of those days t h a t had lodged i t s e l f i n h i s memory not because of any p a r t i c u l a r event, but because a l l the aimless p a r t s of i t , the b r i l l i a n t l i g h t , the s c r a t c h y f e e l of a new coat, the sound of b e l l s l o f t y and mad, had made t o g e t h e r an almost p a l p a b l e shape, a great a i r s i g n , l i k e a c l o u d or a wind or a shower of r a i n , t h a t was beyond i n t e r p r e t i n g and yet r i c h w i t h s i g n i f i c a n c e and promise. Was t h a t . . . happiness?" (92—3) S i m i l a r l y , K e p l e r ' s a s t r o n o m i c a l work i s an e f f o r t t o take from w o r l d l y d i s o r d e r a s p e c i f i c or reduced order or system. When h i s b r o t h e r H e i n r i c h enquires as to the nature of K e p l e r ' s Astronomia Nova, the astronomer i s f o r c e d t o d e c l a r e , " I t i s a new s c i e n c e of the s k i e s , which I have i n v e n t e d " (94). What he means i s t h a t he has "reduced t o o r d e r " observable r e a l i t y . T h i s verges on a paradox, as K e p l e r i s c l e a r l y aware: "The world s h i f t e d and flowed: no sooner had he f i x e d a fragment of i t than i t became something e l s e . . . . His a i l i n g e y e s i g h t i n c r e a s e d the 152 c o n f u s i o n . . . . Only the s t a r s he knew f o r c e r t a i n t o be dead, yet i t was they, i n t h e i r luminous order, t h a t gave him h i s most v i v i d sense of l i f e " (100) . . T h i s "luminous o r d e r " i s l i k e n e d t o the c r e s t s and troughs p e r c e p t i b l e i n K e p l e r ' s t h i n k i n g about h i s own l i f e and, g e n e r a l l y , about the l i v e s of human bein g s . In h i s e a r l y f o r t i e s i n 1611, he w r i t e s t o Regina while i n a very depressed s t a t e . He appears t o d i s c o u n t any a b i l i t y t o eke out an order from the d i s o r d e r of the world while l i v i n g ; r a t h e r , i t seems t h a t the human be i n g i s the d i s o r d e r : L i f e , so i t used t o seem t o me, my dear Regina, i s a formless & f o r e v e r s h i f t i n g s t u f f , a globe of molten g l a s s , say, which we have been f l u n g , and which, without even the cru d e s t of instruments, with only our bare hands, we must shape i n t o a p e r f e c t sphere, i n order t o be ab l e to c o n t a i n i t w i t h i n o u r s e l v e s . That, so I thought, i s our task here, I mean the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the chaos without, i n t o a p e r f e c t harmony & balance w i t h i n us. Wrong, wrong: f o r our l i v e s c o n t a i n us, we are the flaw i n the c r y s t a l , the speck of g r i t which must be e j e c t e d from the s p i n n i n g sphere" (134) . [his i t a l i c s ] The p e r f e c t c r y s t a l e x i s t s , K epler ruminates, but human beings are imperfect h o l d e r s of i t s beauty. T h i s " i m p e r f e c t n e s s " can be a s s o c i a t e d d i r e c t l y t o the "mysterious firmament c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n the s k u l l " (137). The human head i s an e x c e l l e n t sphere, yet i t i s f u l l of a cacophony of c o n f u s i o n s . I t leads K e p l e r t o p o s t u l a t e t h a t 153 a l l o b s e r v a t i o n , and t h e r e f o r e order, i s t h e o r y — l a d e n from the mind: The mind l e a r n s a l l mathematical ide a s & f i g u r e s out of i t s e l f ; by e m p i r i c a l s i g n s i t o n l y remembers what i t knows a l r e a d y . . . . I f the mind had never shared an eye, then i t would, f o r the c o n c e i v i n g of the t h i n g s s i t u a t e d o u t s i d e i t s e l f demand an eye and p r e s c r i b e i t s own laws f o r forming i t . For the r e c o g n i t i o n of q u a n t i t i e s which i s i n n a t e i n the mind determines how the eye must be, and t h e r e f o r e the eye i s so, because the mind i s so, and not v i c e — v e r s a . Geometry was not r e c e i v e d through the eyes: i t was a l r e a d y t h e r e i n s i d e . (149) T h i s a s s e r t i o n c r i t i c i z e s d i r e c t l y e m p i r i c a l ways of l o o k i n g at the world, yet even Ke p l e r i s confused why e x t e r n a l d i s o r d e r can breed i n t e r n a l order. The best metaphor f o r t h i s model i s the red spot of J u p i t e r , which r o t a t e s m a t h e m a t i c a l l y and i s s t a b l e while a l l around i t i s i n s t a b i l i t y . Likewise, i n the midst of war, s c i e n c e i s a "great c o n s o l a t i o n " (133) . More i n t e r e s t i n g l y , when K e p l e r w r i t e s t o Johannes Brengger, he e s t a b l i s h e s a s t r o n g l i n k between l i f e and work i n D i o p t r i c e : Now I am s u b j e c t once more to bouts of f e v e r , and consequently I have no energy, and am sore i n s p i r i t . Worries abound, and t h e r e are rumours of war. Yet, l o o k i n g a f r e s h at the form of t h i s l i t t l e book, I am s t r u c k by the thought t h a t perhaps, without r e a l i s i n g i t , I had some i n t i m a t i o n of the t r o u b l e s to come, f o r c e r t a i n l y i t i s a strange work, uncommonly severe & muted, wint r y i n tone, p r e c i s e i n e x e c u t i o n . I t i s not l i k e me at a l l . (136) I t appears t h a t when e x t e r n a l d i s o r d e r i s rampant, the mind 154 f i n d s c o n s o l a t i o n i n i n t e r n a l order, however achieved or d e f i n e d . Much i n the same way, K e p l e r c o n s i d e r s h i s c h i l d h o o d as some k i n d of i n t e r n a l order, as memory, set a g a i n s t h i s r e s t l e s s d i s o r d e r e d p r e s e n t . He remembers the p e r i o d at "Old Sebaldus'" house (his g r a n d f a t h e r ) , which was " w i t h i n him a v i s i o n of l o s t peace and order, a sphere of harmony which had never been, yet to which the i d e a of c h i l d h o o d seemed an approximation" (159). And when l a t e i n l i f e , under W a l l e n s t e i n ' s patronage, he must r e t u r n t o t e a c h i n g mathematics i n a d i s t r i c t s c h o o l , i t reminds him of the o r i g i n of h i s most c e l e b r a t e d work, Mysterium  Cosmographicum. Desperate to account f o r the l o s s of Winckelmann, who seems t o have been a v i c t i m of an a n t i — S e m i t i c a t t a c k or pogrom, Kepler f r e s h l y c o n s i d e r s t h a t even "random phenomena may make a p a t t e r n which, out of the t e n s i o n of i t s mere e x i s t i n g , w i l l generate e f f e c t s and i n f l u e n c e s " (175). T h i s optimism v i s \ v i s random phenomena i s taken up more f o r c e f u l l y i n K e p l e r ' s " f i n a l s y n t h e s i s " (179), Harmonice Mundi. His o u t s t a n d i n g book i s p r e d i c a t e d on the simple f a c t t h a t harmony i s to be found i n geometry, not a r i t h m e t i c . His r e s e a r c h c a s t s new l i g h t on the "fragmentary and enigmatic c h a r t s a p p a r e n t l y unconnected wit h each o t h e r . Now he understood t h a t they were not maps of the i s l a n d s of an Indies, but of d i f f e r e n t s t r e t c h e s of the shore of one great world" (179) . The c a s t i n g of new l i g h t a l s o suggests t h a t h i s p r e v i o u s work i f not wrong, c o u l d be more exact. The neatness of the Mysterium Cosmographicum i s undermined by the e l l i p t i c a l paths of the p l a n e t s worked through i n Astronomia Nova: "Somehow the r u l e s o f plane harmony must be made t o account f o r the i r r e g u l a r i t i e s i n t h i s model of the world. The problem d e l i g h t e d him. The new astronomy which he had i n v e n t e d had de s t r o y e d the o l d symmetries; then he must f i n d new and f i n e r ones" (181). I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t f a c e d with a d i s o r d e r e d world, K e p l e r ' s experiments meet with haphazard succ e s s . As p o i n t e d out i n chapter two, G e r a l d Holton and Thomas Kuhn have much to c r i t i c i z e i n the modern tendency t o suppress the roundabout nature of s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r y ( n o n l i n e a r systems). Kepler, however, s e t s g r e a t s t o r e by h i s f a i l u r e s , as the f o l l o w i n g sympathetic n a r r a t o r ' s account r e v e a l s : He began by seeking t o a s s i g n t o the p e r i o d s of r e v o l u t i o n of the p l a n e t s the harmonic r a t i o s d i c t a t e d by musical measurement. I t would not work. Next he t r i e d t o d i s c e r n a harmonic s e r i e s i n the s i z e s or volumes of the p l a n e t s . Again he f a i l e d . Then he sought t o f i t the l e a s t and g r e a t e s t s o l a r d i s t a n c e s i n t o a s c a l e , examined the r a t i o s of the extreme v e l o c i t i e s , and of the v a r i a b l e p e r i o d s r e q u i r e d by each p l a n e t t o r o t a t e through a u n i t l e n g t h of i t s o r b i t . And then at l a s t , by the n i c e t r i c k of s i t i n g the p o s i t i o n of o b s e r v a t i o n not on e a r t h but i n the sun, and from t h e r e computing the v a r i a t i o n s i n angular v e l o c i t i e s which the watcher from the sun c o u l d be expected t o see, he found i t . (181) The above q u o t a t i o n i s a conc e n t r a t e d d i s c o u r s e of "astronomer—speak," but what i s c l e a r — e v e n t o the most 156 u n s c i e n t i f i c of l a y m e n — i s the t r i a l and e r r o r procedure of c r e a t i v e t h i n k i n g . Another l e s s obvious aspect i s the emphasis on musi c a l harmony, which l i k e a game of chess and the fundamentals of c h a o t i c theory, has a l i m i t e d number of s t a r t i n g elements but an u n l i m i t e d number of combinations. When the s c i e n c e becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t , the n a r r a t o r l u r c h e s i n t o a more " o b j e c t i v e " b i o g r a p h e r — l i k e s t y l e : For i n s e t t i n g the two extremes of v e l o c i t y thus observed a g a i n s t each other, and i n combined p a i r s among the other p l a n e t s , he d e r i v e d the i n t e r v a l s of the complete s c a l e , both the major and the minor keys. The heavenly motions, he c o u l d then w r i t e , are no t h i n g but a continuous song f o r s e v e r a l v o i c e s , p e r c e i v e d not by the ear but by the i n t e l l e c t , a f i g u r e d music which s e t s landmarks i n the immeasurable flow of time. (181) The f u g a l s o l u t i o n t o the complexity of the u n i v e r s e i s an inge n i o u s one to e x p l a i n the sun's o r b i t a l i n f l u e n c e s ; i f he cannot e x p l a i n p l a n e t a r y motion, he w i l l have t o admit the "u n i v e r s e i s a s e n s e l e s s and a r b i t r a r y s t r u c t u r e " (181—2). Such an admission would completely render u s e l e s s a l l h i s p r e v i o u s work. But amidst t h i s i n c r e a s i n g worry of i n t e l l e c t u a l inadequacy, h i s c r e a t i v i t y and i n s p i r a t i o n come to the rescu e . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t a r r i v e s i n the middle of e x t e r n a l d i s o r d e r : When the s o l u t i o n came, i t came, as always through a back door of the mind, h e s i t a t i n g s h y l y , an announcing angel dazed by the immensity of i t s journey. One morning i n the middle of May, while Europe was b u c k l i n g on i t s sword, he f e l t the wi n g — t i p touch him, 157 and heard the m i l d v o i c e say I am here. [ h i s i t a l i c s ] (182) Loath t o d i s c a r d completely h i s p r e v i o u s work, K e p l e r seeks a more complex s o l u t i o n , j u s t as Copernicus c o m p l i c a t e d h i s b a s i c g e o m e t r i c a l premise by i n t r o d u c i n g many e p i c y c l e s . E s s e n t i a l l y , the mature work of Kepler and Copernicus s i d e s t e p the i s s u e of whether they are s a v i n g or e x p l a i n i n g phenomena and c o n c e n t r a t e on the act of s a v i n g or e x p l a i n i n g t h e i r p r e v i o u s w r i t i n g s as f a r as p o s s i b l e . In the f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n , B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r appears t o d i s m i s s h i s clockwork mechanism theory, but r e a l l y he only g i v e s i t more f l e x i b i l i t y by h i s m u s i c a l s o l u t i o n : The world, he understood at l a s t , i s an i n f i n i t e l y more complex and s u b t l e c o n s t r u c t than he or anyone e l s e had imagined. He had l i s t e n e d f o r a time, but here were symphonies. How mistaken he had been to seek a g e o m e t r i c a l l y p e r f e c t e d , c l o s e d cosmos! A mere clockwork c o u l d be n o t h i n g b e s i d e the r e a l i t y , which i s the most harmonic p o s s i b l e . The r e g u l a r s o l i d s are the m a t e r i a l , but harmony i s form. The s o l i d s d e s c r i b e the raw masses, harmony p r e s c r i b e s the f i n e s t r u c t u r e , by which the whole becomes t h a t which i t i s , a p e r f e c t e d work of a r t . (182) K e p l e r ' s v i s i o n i s an a r t i s t i c one, b e t r a y i n g a d e f i n i t e need t o see the world i n a e s t h e t i c terms, working p a r t l y on the assumption t h a t God would not c o n s t r u c t an u g l y system. 158 I I . The Brotherhood of Science W i t h i n the o v e r a l l master concept of e x t r a c t i n g o r d e r from d i s o r d e r , the brotherhood of s c i e n c e , i n a l l i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s , on the s u r f a c e g i v e s K e p l e r the c o n f i d e n c e t o continue h i s s t u d i e s . Peer review of one's work can be the most g r a t i f y i n g or the most f r u s t r a t i n g e x p e r i e n c e f o r any a r t i s t or s c i e n t i s t . In K e p l e r ' s case, he i s s e v e r e l y t e s t e d by the t h e o r i e s and o p i n i o n s of h i s t e a c h e r s , f r i e n d s and p r o f e s s i o n a l correspondents as w e l l as by Tycho Brahe t o whom he has gone to stay with when the n a r r a t i v e opens. The o l d e r astronomer, Kepler hopes, can be the epitome of order i n the chaos of the c a s t l e and the world i n g e n e r a l : Tycho, with h i s s i l e n c e and h i s s t a r e , h i s gleaming dome of s k u l l and metal nose, seemed more than human, seemed a great weighty engine where i m p e r c e p t i b l e workings were h o l d i n g f i r m l y i n t h e i r courses a l l the d i s p a r a t e doings of the c a s t l e and i t s myriad l i v e s . (6—7) Throughout the novel, Kepler r e t u r n s t o Brahe's achievements and t o those of Copernicus. Although the l a t t e r was more than f i f t y years dead when Kepler begins h i s work, " f o r Johannes he rose again, a mournful angel t h a t must be w r e s t l e d with b e f o r e he c o u l d p r e s s on t o found h i s own system" (24). As f o r Brahe, " P o s t e r i t y might f o r g e t h i s books, r i d i c u l e h i s world system, laugh at h i s o u t l a n d i s h 159 l i f e , but not even the most h e a r t l e s s f u t u r e imaginable would f a i l t o honour him as a genius of e x a c t i t u d e " (62—3). Both Coperncius and Brahe p r o v i d e d elegant s o l u t i o n s t o new data t h a t had become a v a i l a b l e s i n c e the time of Ptolemy. K e p l e r w o r r i e s t h a t h i s work, which appears i n e l e g a n t , i s t h e r e f o r e wrongheaded or " i r r e d e e m i a b l y v u l g a r " (71). K e p l e r ' s view of n a t u r a l p h i l o s o p h y on meeting Brahe i s o p t i m i s t i c : "I h o l d the world to be a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t y of order" ( 7 ) . Brahe's response i s more c a u t i o u s , r e m i n i s c e n t of communication theory and the r o l e of n o i s e : "One has always to contend with d i s t u r b a n c e " [my i t a l i c s ] (7). In communication theory, and i n s t a t i s t i c a l surveys, margins of e r r o r and/or " n o i s e " d i s t u r b a n c e have to be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the b a s i c "Sender—Message—Receiver" model. Brahe argues t h a t K e p l e r ' s Mysterium Cosmographicum i s flawed because i t i s based on the Copernican system (and presumably not on Brahe's). N e v e r t h e l e s s , Brahe does see K e p l e r ' s work as " s i g n i f i c a n t , " and the young a s t r o n o m e r / s c i e n t i s t i s p a r t l y r e a s s u r e d by t h i s because he " b e l i e v e d i n the brotherhood of s c i e n c e " (10). T h i s b e l i e f i n brotherhood may o r i g i n a t e at the p o i n t when the young Kepler, age twenty—three, i n p u r s u i t of the " e t e r n a l laws t h a t govern the harmony of the world" (19), begins a t e a c h i n g c a r e e r . The Rector Papius observes the p a s s i o n a t e young man i n the classsroom. His exuberant pedagogy i s not a l t o g e t h e r a s u c c e s s f u l technique, but one 160 c e r t a i n l y c o n s i s t e n t with K e p l e r ' s n a t u r a l but " d i s c o n c e r t i n g b l e n d of f r i e n d l i n e s s , e x c i t a b i l i t y and arrogance" (22). K e p l e r i s g r a t e f u l t o Papius f o r h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the impatience e x h i b i t e d by the ambitious and e a r n e s t young s c i e n t i s t . D e s p i t e doubts, K e p l e r wants t o see harmony and order i n God's u n i v e r s e , b e l i e v i n g "geometry i s the e a r t h l y paradigm of d i v i n e thought" (26). H i s f l a s h of i n s i g h t v i s \ v i s the g e o m e t r i c a l d i s t a n c e s between the p l a n e t s comes i n s u n l i g h t , unawares, while t e a c h i n g . In t h a t moment i n f r o n t of h i s c l a s s , i n t h a t s p e c i a l k i n d of brotherhood, he b e l i e v e s the d i s t a n c e s are i n r a t i o s determined by the fundamental f i g u r e s i n geometry, namely, the cube (6), the pyramid ( 4 ) , the dodechedron (12), the icosahedron (20), and the octahedron (8). Once he has r e f i n e d h i s thoughts on these r a t i o s , he t r a v e l s t o Tubingen to p u b l i s h h i s work and to seek the informed o p i n i o n of h i s o l d t e a c h e r Michael M a s t l i n . The l a t t e r ' s views c o i n c i d e with those of Andreas Osiander's on Copernicus' work. M a s t l i n argues t h a t "the mathematician has achieved h i s g o a l when he advances hypotheses to which the phenomena correspond as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e " (30). T h i s i s not the k i n d of c o n s e r v a t i v e t h i n k i n g t h a t K e p l e r wishes t o hear. He says t h a t he r e s p e c t s the past, but not s l a v i s h l y . L i k e Copernicus, he does not set out merely t o save the phenomenon, but t o e x p l a i n i t . Nonetheless, the debate with M a s t l i n h elps K e p l e r to r e f i n e h i s own thoughts. As with 161 h i s r e l u c t a n t students, Kepler views such (Kuhnian) r e s i s t a n c e i n the long run as b e n e f i c i a l . Another form of brotherhood i s r e p r e s e n t e d by the Jew Winckelmann. I t i s i r o n i c t h a t the P r o t e s t a n t and the Jew f i n d each other, both o u t c a s t s i n a C a t h o l i c world. Winckelmann has books on the d i s c r e d i t e d " s c i e n t i f i c " t h e o r i e s or paradigms, i n c l u d i n g the Magia n a t u r a l i s as w e l l as other works by Nostradamus and P a r a c e l s u s . By l a u d i n g Copernicus, K e p l e r i s c o n t i n u i n g t h i s "heresy." Winckelmann c a l l s h i s s c i e n t i f i c books "a comprehensible magic" (46). The Jew i s a craftsman, although he i s a l s o a l a b o u r e r of s o r t s i n h i s l e n s g r i n d i n g p r o f e s s i o n . Such an oc c u p a t i o n suggests an e a r l y Spinoza (1632—77 [Kepler d i e d i n 1630]), who p o s i t e d the b e l i e f i n Monism ( r e a l i t y i s u n i f i e d but we can o n l y p e r c e i v e c e r t a i n a t t r i b u t e s of t h a t u n i t y ) . T h i s system of understanding i s s u r e l y s i m i l a r t o K e p l e r ' s dream about the p e r f e c t egg which i s d i s p e r s e d i n t o s m a l l b i t s i n the c o n s c i o u s world. K e p l e r a l s o c o n s i d e r s l a t e i n l i f e t h a t h i s work has i n e f f e c t r e d i s c o v e r e d d i f f e r e n t s t r e t c h e s of one l a r g e c o a s t l i n e . Kepler i s , then, a de f a c t o Monist. Once i t i s r e v e a l e d t h a t Winckelmann has read R h e t i c u s ' N a r r a t i o Prima, an i n t e r e s t i n g d i s c u s s i o n ensues. K e p l e r argues t h a t " s c i e n c e i s a method of knowing" (47), but the Jew r e p l i e s , "Of knowing, yes; but of understanding?" (47). Winckelmann argues t h a t C h r i s t i a n i t y d e a l s with words out of nothingness, so much so t h a t "Jesus C h r i s t i s the word made f l e s h ! " (47). He i s coy about Judaism, except i n the sense 162 t h a t he b e l i e v e s man has been t o l d e v e r y t h i n g , even though he does not understand t h a t t e l l i n g . I t i s i n Winckelmann's abode t h a t K e p l e r r e a l l y senses the harmony of the world: "Everywhere he began to see world—forming r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i n the r u l e s of a r c h i t e c t u r e and p a i n t i n g , i n p o e t i c metre, i n the c o m p l e x i t i e s of rhythm, even i n c o l o u r s , i n s m e l l s and t a s t e s , i n the p r o p o r t i o n of the human f i g u r e " (48). During t h i s confinement, K e p l e r reads P l a t o , A r i s t o t l e , and books Winckelmann had g i v e n him, p a r t i c u l a r l y one by the C a b a l i s t C o r n e l i u s Agrippa, whose e x c i t a b l e mind resembles K e p l e r ' s . In a d d i t i o n , K e p l e r t u r n e d to music, mathematics, and Pythagoras with i n t e n s e o b s e s s i o n . These readings and i n f l u e n c e s g i v e K e p l e r the i n t e l l e c t u a l support t o be a maverick t h i n k e r . I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , then, t h a t K e p l e r rubs many people the wrong way. For example, at the source of what appears t o be a w o r l d l y disagreement between Brahe and K e p l e r over the l a t t e r ' s o f f i c i a l d e s i g n a t i o n i n C a s t l e Benatek, t h e r e i s a r e a l s c i e n t i f i c problem. Brahe b e l i e v e s the e a r t h i s at the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e , but t h a t other p l a n e t s o r b i t the sun. K e p l e r b e l i e v e s the u n i v e r s e i s sun-centred, f o l l o w i n g Copernicus' system. C l e a r l y , a f a i r degree of j e a l o u s y e x i s t s between them over t h i s c r u c i a l s y s t e m — b u i l d i n g o p e r a t i o n , and i t clouds t h e i r behaviour towards each other, c o n t r i b u t i n g to ad hominem s c i e n t i f i c arguments. 163 As f o r c u r i o u s c o n t i n u i t i e s and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s , a p e r s o n a l l i n k i s e s t a b l i s h e d between Copernicus and K e p l e r . Baron Hoffmann, who puts Kepler up d u r i n g arguments with Brahe, had l e a r n e d h i s mathematics from V a l e n t i n e Otho, the p u p i l o f Rh e t i c u s who, i n t u r n , was Copernicus' p u p i l . Such p u p i l a g e h e l p s t o f o r c e K e p l e r t o see the va l u e of making accommodations with a p r i c k l y s u p e r i o r i n years and rank. A f t e r the two make up t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s and a f e a s t i s put on, a wager t o s o l v e the o r b i t of Mars i s arranged. In the atmosphere of p r o f e s s i o n a l camaraderie, Brahe i s c a j o l e d i n t o g i v i n g access t o h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s , which K e p l e r r i g h t l y c a l l s the o l d e r man's " i m m o r t a l i t y " (62). Although K e p l e r takes some seven years t o c a l c u l a t e an approximation f o r the Mars o r b i t , he does succeed Brahe as Imp e r i a l Mathematician, thus showing the importance of s c i e n t i s t s h a v ing proteges and/or a s s i s t a n t s . True, K e p l e r h e l d a d i f f e r e n t view of the system of p l a n e t a r y motion, yet i t i s a l s o t r u e t h a t without Brahe's o b s e r v a t i o n s , K e p l e r would not have been ab l e t o make many of h i s own advances, both t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l . Whereas today s c i e n t i f i c experiments t h a t promise t o change the agenda of i n q u i r y are o f t e n q u i c k l y w r i t t e n up and p u b l i s h e d i n Nature or faxed t o endless numbers of people and i n s t i t u t i o n s , i n K e p l e r ' s time the l e t t e r was o f t e n the only way of keeping abreast of developments o u t s i d e one's own immediate area. So i t i s c o n s i s t e n t t h a t apart from m i s s i v e s t o Regina and to h i s mother, the 164 w r i t i n g s o f K e p l e r r e v e a l evidence of an academic sometimes t h i n k i n g aloud, sometimes answering d e t a i l e d i n q u i r i e s from e n t h u s i a s t i c c o l l e a g u e s , and sometimes s t r i v i n g t o d i s e n t a n g l e p r i n c i p l e d arguments from ad hominem arguments. The l e t t e r s cover seven years, 1605—12, a time when K e p l e r was pr o b a b l y at the peak of h i s powers. By d e t a i l i n g some of the idea s i n these l e t t e r s , we can see the i d e o l o g i c a l c o n f l i c t s w i t h i n K e p l e r ' s own views of h i s s c i e n t i f i c work. The l e t t e r s are f i c t i o n a l t o the extent t h a t t h e i r contents do not f i t e x a c t l y t o the r e a l K e p l e r ' s l e t t e r s , as e d i t e d by Max Caspar (1954) or i n the s e l e c t i o n e d i t e d by C a r o l a Baumgardt (1951). N e v e r t h e l e s s , B a n v i l l e seems t o have scanned the l e t t e r s f o r key moments and has t r a n s l a t e d the tone very f a i t h f u l l y . At f i r s t glance, the twenty l e t t e r s c o v e r i n g f o r t y pages i n K e p l e r are ex c e e d i n g l y u n p a l a t a b l e . They are brimming with so many ideas t h a t the reader i s overwhelmed. C l e a r l y , i n the wider view, the l e t t e r s convey, at long l a s t , no c o n f u s i o n of d i s t a n c e between the n a r r a t o r and the c h a r a c t e r of K e p l e r . As a form of n a r r a t i v e , the l e t t e r i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y incomplete. I t i s an i n t i m a t e f i r s t person medium, but only t o the extent t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the w r i t e r and the r e c e i v e r i s developed. A d i s t a n c e always se p a r a t e s the reader from K e p l e r ' s l e t t e r s , whether p h y s i c a l or i n t e l l e c t u a l . Some of the m i s s i v e s he w r i t e s , f o r example, are t o people he has never met and never w i l l meet (David F a b r i c i u s , l e t t e r s 1 and 20). The i m p l i e d 165 a u t h o r / n a r r a t o r has p a t t e r n e d the l e t t e r s i n a f i c t i o n a l shape, marking t o us readers t h a t these t e x t s comprise no o r d i n a r y or n o n f i c t i o n a l biography, at the very p o i n t such a "mistake" c o u l d be made. Th i s one—sided correspondence (s i n c e we are not g i v e n any responses t o h i s l e t t e r s , u n l i k e t h a t found i n Doctor  Copernicus) i s arranged i n an e l l i p t i c a l f a s h i o n . In b r i e f , the form of the l e t t e r s c o a l e s c e s with Astronomia Nova's a s s e r t i o n t h a t the p l a n e t s move i n e l l i p s e s . By r e — o r d e r i n g the chronology of the l e t t e r s but e n s u r i n g n onetheless t h a t they a c c o r d t o a c e r t a i n p a t t e r n , we suspect t h a t B a n v i l l e wishes us t o see t h a t w i t h i n apparent d i s o r d e r , t h e r e i s an ob s e s s i v e mathematical order. A l s o , the ongoing work of Ke p l e r mentioned i n the l e t t e r s i s e l l i p t i c a l i n a g e n e r a l sense, r e t u r n i n g c o n s t a n t l y , i f not e x a c t l y , t o the " o r i g i n a l " f i n d i n g s of Mysterium Cosmographicum, a t e x t which K e p l e r sees as a c e n t r a l paradigm or model from which c e r t a i n d e t a i l s can be worked out. In terms of s t y l e , a c l o s e r e a d i n g of the f i r s t l e t t e r t o David Fabric'ius t e l l s us t h a t t h e r e i s no s u b s t a n t i v e d i f f e r e n c e between the l e t t e r s and the other s e c t i o n s of the n o v e l . We have K e p l e r ' s cocksureness, the use of ex c l a m a t i o n s — " H o n o u r e d F r i e n d ! " ( I l l ) ; the use of i t a l i c s and the d e c l a r a t i v e a i r - — " t h e new astronomy t r u l y i s born" (111) ; the use of p a r e n t h e s e s — " ( a n d he who b e l i e v e s t h a t a cloc k . h a s a s o u l , a t t r i b u t e s t o the work the maker's g l o r y ) " (112) ; the use of ( u n i n t e n t i o n a l ) b a t h o s — " I e n c l o s e my 166 w i f e ' s r e c i p e f o r E a s t e r Cake as promised" (111). In a d d i t i o n , we o f t e n see i n the l e t t e r s the impassioned anger of K e p l e r , sometimes r e v e a l e d i n the use of i n d i g n a n t q u e s t i o n s . Since a l l these w r i t i n g techniques appear i n the t h i r d person n a r r a t i o n which dominates the f o u r o t h e r s e c t i o n s of the n o v e l , the supposed d i s t a n c e between c h a r a c t e r and n a r r a t o r i s f u r t h e r complicated. The most s t r i k i n g change i s i n the h u m i l i t y of the t h i r d person i n t e r i o r n a r r a t i o n of "Somnium:" "Always he b e l i e v e d without q u e s t i o n t h a t others were b e t t e r than he, more t h o u g h t f u l , more honourable, a s t a t e of a f f a i r s f o r which the s t a n d i n g apology t h a t was h i s l i f e c o u l d not make up". (160—1). These admissions are i n s t a r t l i n g c o n t r a s t to the g e n e r a l energy of the f i r s t f o u r s e c t i o n s . The main o r i g i n a l i t y of the l e t t e r s e c t i o n i s the necessary e x c l u s i o n of scenes with d i a l o g u e . The c l e a r s t r e n g t h of "Harmonice mundi" i s i t s window o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the reader to see B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r i n moments of contemplation. One s a l i e n t f a c t about the s e c t i o n i s K e p l e r ' s understanding of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of h i s wide brotherhood of s c i e n c e . As he e x c i t e d l y recounts t o David F a b r i c i u s : That I have won, I do not doubt, as I say. My concern i s , what manner of v i c t o r y I have achieved, and what p r i c e I & our s c i e n c e , and perhaps a l l men w i l l have to pay f o r i t . Copernicus delayed f o r t h i r t y years b e f o r e p u b l i s h i n g h i s m a j e s t i c work, I b e l i e v e because he f e a r e d the e f f e c t upon men's minds of h i s having removed t h i s E a r t h from the c e n t r e of the world, making i t merely a p l a n e t among p l a n e t s ; 167 yet what I have done i s , I t h i n k , more r a d i c a l s t i l l , f o r I have transformed the very shape of t h i n g s — I mean of course I have demonstrated t h a t the c o n c e p t i o n of c e l e s t i a l form & motion, which we have h e l d s i n c e Pythagoras, i s p r o f o u n d l y mistaken. ( I l l ) What K e p l e r t h i n k s he has achieved i s a m e c h a n i s t i c world view, a clockwork, e x t r a p o l a t e d from the p l a n e t s ' " p h y s i c a l  causes" [ h i s i t a l i c s ] (112). In the process, he hopes t o do away with the need f o r c e r t a i n assumptions, which b a s i c a l l y t r a n s l a t e as leaps of f a i t h about the workings of the world. As has been p o i n t e d out above, t h i s excitement i s r e p l a c e d by doubt i n l a t e r years and r e p l a c e d , i n t u r n , by the m u s i c a l f u g a l metaphor. K e p l e r ' s t r i a l and e r r o r procedures and h i s t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s t r u c t s without p r o o f s are e x p l a i n e d i n a l e t t e r t o Johannes F a b r i c i u s i n 1611, on the t o p i c of sunspots: For my own p a r t , they are of the utmost i n t e r e s t not i n t h e i r cause, but i n t h a t , by t h e i r form & e v i d e n t motion, they prove s a t i s f a c t o r i l y the r o t a t i o n of the sun, which I had p o s t u l a t e d without proof i n my Astronomia nova. I wonder t h a t I c o u l d do so much i n that book, without the a i d of the t e l e s c o p e , which i n your work you have put to such good use. (133) Not a l l h i s correspondence i m p l i e s a s e t t l e d community of s c h o l a r — s c i e n t i s t s . The r i v a l r y with G a l i l e o i s c l e a r l y a prominent i s s u e . G a l i l e o w i l l not send a t e l e s c o p e t o v e r i f y the " f o u r new p l a n e t s " which, i n f a c t , are, as K e p l e r b e l i e v e s c o r r e c t l y , the f o u r moons of J u p i t e r . K e p l e r i s very conscious of p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l c h i c a n e r y i n t h i s p e r c e i v e d r i v a l r y . In a l e t t e r t o Georg Fugger, the 168 P r o t e s t a n t astronomer seems to e x p l a i n p a r t l y the C a t h o l i c G a l i l e o , simply because he i s " i n the employ of the V e n e t i a n R e p u b l i c " (123). He means here t h a t the p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of V e n i c e demand t h a t G a l i l e o be c r y p t i c about h i s a l l e g i a n c e s . I r o n i c a l l y , K e pler f i n d s h i m s e l f d e f e n d i n g G a l i l e o ' s i n t e g r i t y a g a i n s t Fugger's assumption t h a t the I t a l i a n i s c o n t r a r y out of j e a l o u s y . K e p l e r appears t o w r i t e only a h a l f — t r u t h on t h e i r j o i n t c a l l i n g : "Science, s i r , i s not l i k e diplomacy, does not p r o g r e s s by nods & winks & w e l l wrought compliments . . . . In these matters of s c i e n c e , i t i s a q u e s t i o n , you see, not of the i n d i v i d u a l , but of the work" (123-4). These statements are hard to countenance g i v e n K e p l e r ' s own t r y s t s , not to mention h i s own thoughts on the v a r i o u s s u b t e r f u g e s he has had to r e s o r t to (of which more l a t e r ) . Fundamentally, he reads G a l i l e o ' s Sidereus Nuncius as a f a s c i n a t i n g work, one i n need of a r e p l y (hence K e p l e r ' s D i s s e r t a t i o cum nuncio S i d e r o ) , but which s h o u l d not be seen (as Fugger and other p a r t i s a n p o l i t i c i a n s would l i k e ) as a r e f u t a t i o n . Since K e p l e r admits to knowing "what a long road i t i s from the t h e o r e t i c a l concept t o i t s p r a c t i c a l achievement" (139) , he i s w i l l i n g t o l e t G a l i l e o have h i s day i n the sun, even though the anagram announcing the d i s c o v e r y of two moons c i r c l i n g s a t u r n i n f u r i a t e s the I m p e r i a l Mathematician. 7 Another reason f o r K e p l e r ' s f a s c i n a t i o n and t o l e r a n c e of G a l i l e o i s the l a t t e r ' s d i s c o v e r y t h a t the red spot of J u p i t e r appeared t o r o t a t e 169 mathematically, an i s l a n d of order i n a sea of d i s o r d e r . D i s p u t a t i o n with G a l i l e o from a f a r on abs t r u s e t o p i c s may be the h i g h p o i n t of K e p l e r ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l p l a y w i t h o t h e r s c i e n t i s t s a f t e r Tycho's death. However, he i s con s c i o u s t h a t the more mundane ta s k s and the h e l p he r e c e i v e s from o t h e r s are s i g n i f i c a n t t o h i s work. The J e s u i t s come t o him t o w r i t e a t r e a t i s e f o r t h e i r m i s s i o n a r i e s i n China t o e x p l a i n the recent astronomy; the Tables w i l l be of p r a c t i c a l use to s e a f a r e r s , making h i s work v i t a l , and h i s d i s c i p l e Jakob B a r t s c h e a g e r l y takes over the menial work so t h a t K e p l e r can spend time on Somnium. I I I . R e l i g i o n and Science The correspondence with f e l l o w s c h o l a r s and astronomers i s a keystone t o K e p l e r ' s confidence i n h i s work. Other e s s e n t i a l b u i l d i n g b r i c k s are h i s f a i t h i n God and h i s P r o t e s t a n t r e l i g i o n . As f o r the f i r s t , K e p l e r b e l i e v e s t h a t God i s not j u s t "good" (120) but "great, and I am h i s s e r v a n t " (152). His a b i l i t y t o complete Astronomia Nova i s thanks t o "God's h e l p " (111), s i n c e "God w i l l not abandon me" (131). When circumstances t u r n t o h i s advantage, the s y m p a t h e t i c — a n d seemingly P r o t e s t a n t — n a r r a t o r i s quick t o p r a i s e God's w i l l : "At the begi n n i n g of 1595 he r e c e i v e d a s i g n , i f not from God h i m s e l f then from a l e s s e r d e i t y s u r e l y , one of those whose task i s to encourage the e l e c t of t h i s world" (23). T h i s s i g n i s h i s success at a s t r o l o g y 170 which, i n t u r n , encourages him t o take up h i s Mysterium  Cosmographicum. Not only does a s t r o l o g y b o l s t e r h i s astronomy ( d i s c u s s e d f u r t h e r below), but God i s regarded as the o r i g i n of a l l knowledge. When f a c e d with tragedy, K e p l e r i s never b i t t e r a g a i n s t God; h i s f a i t h never f a l t e r s ; he remains on l y m y s t i f i e d . At the death of h i s son, he a t t r i b u t e s the l o s s merely t o a "weary" God (126). God i s most important t o K e p l e r ' s b e l i e f i n merging geometry and mathematics t o c o n s t r u c t h i s astronomy: "The search f o r knowledge everywhere encounters g e o m e t r i c a l r e l a t i o n s i n nature, which God, i n c r e a t i n g the world, l a i d out from h i s own r e s o u r c e s , so t o speak. To enquire i n t o nature, then, i s t o t r a c e g e o m e t r i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Since God, i n h i s h i g h e s t goodness, was not able to r e s t fom h i s l a b o u r s , he p l a y e d with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i n g s , and c o p i e d h i m s e l f i n the world . . . . the c r e a t e d i m i t a t e s the C r e a t o r " (145). One i s s t r u c k by the P l a t o n i c n o t i o n s of K e p l e r ; he seems t o accept t h a t as some k i n d of a r t i s t h i s work i s t h i r d from the t r u t h ; b e f o r e him l i e the world, and u l t i m a t e l y God. Whereas K e p l e r ' s f a i t h i s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , no end of complexity, i n t r i g u e , and agony i s a s s o c i a t e d with h i s P r o t e s t a n t r e l i g i o n i n a p r i m a r i l y C a t h o l i c world. While i t i s important t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the e f f e c t s h i s r e l i g i o u s b a t t l e s have on h i s l i f e , i t i s a l s o important t o e x p l o r e or s p e c u l a t e upon the i n f l u e n c e of P r o t e s t a n t i s m i n h i s t h e o r i z i n g . Indeed, i t c o u l d be argued t h a t P r o t e s t a n t 171 K e p l e r p r o v i d e d f o r i n n o v a t i v e astronomy i n h i s very r e l i g i o n a necessary balance and i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e g r i t y , s i n c e i t ensured t h a t C a t h o l i c Copernicus was not simply d i s m i s s e d or paraded because of h i s r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n s . Of course, t h e r e i s a l s o the p a r a l l e l t h a t both R h e t i c u s and K e p l e r e x t r a p o l a t e from Copernicus' work, as P r o t e s t a n t i s m e x t r a p o l a t e d from C a t h o l i c i s m . T e c h n i c a l l y , K e p l e r i s a Lutheran. Graz, A u s t r i a , where he i n i t i a l l y r e s i d e s may have been f u l l of " P r o t e s t a n t l o o n i e s , i t was P r o t e s t a n t f i l t h , and a P r o t e s t a n t heaven those s p i r e s sought, hence the wider a i r hereabout: but the Archduke was a r a b i d C a t h o l i c , and the p l a c e was c r a w l i n g with J e s u i t s " (21). In the r e a l world t h a t K e p l e r must operate, he s u f f e r s the i n d i g n i t y of not being allowed t o p r a c t i c e h i s f r e e c o n s c i e n c e . At f i r s t , i t seems the C a t h o l i c a u t h o r i t i e s are a f t e r h i s head: they c l o s e down the P r o t e s t a n t s c h o o l , where he teaches, f o r c e him i n t o e x i l e on two o c c a s i o n s , and even at one p o i n t c o n f i s c a t e h i s l i b r a r y . K e p l e r complains b i t t e r l y t o Brahe about the C a t h o l i c power-mongers who wished him to renounce h i s Lutheranism and who demanded t h a t he pay a f i n e t o have h i s c h i l d r e n b u r i e d under t h a t church's a u s p i c e s . K e p l e r ' s g e n e r a l s t o i c i s m (though he tends t o complain often) i s confirmed i n h i s own eyes by the l a c k of p r i n c i p l e of both h i s w i f e ' s f a t h e r and Tengnagel who, when the p r o s c r i p t i o n s are i s s u e d , q u i c k l y convert t o C a t h o l i c i s m . To Kepler, "This shows the man's c h a r a c t e r f o r what i t i s " (115). K e p l e r ' s u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o 172 s h i f t t o C a t h o l i c i s m r e v e a l s h i s g e n e r a l method of not f o l l o w i n g the e a s i e s t path. I r o n i e s abound where r e l i g i o n i s concerned. The Archduke F e r d i n a n d who had d r i v e n him out of Graz as a young man denies him patronage as an o l d man f o r much the same r e a s o n — h i s Lutheranism. Emperor Ferdinand, as he becomes, suggests t h a t K e p l e r convert to r e c e i v e preferment. T h i s K e p l e r cannot do, s i n c e h i s mind i s too r i g o r o u s i n q u e s t i o n i n g dogma to make such a p o l i t i c a l move. K e p l e r ' s p r o v o c a t i v e pose, however, i s not without awareness of r e p e r c u s s i o n s : The [mainly P r o t e s t a n t ] P a l a t i n a t e ' s army had been crushed i n the b a t t l e of Weisser Berg and Bohemia re g a i n e d by the C a t h o l i c s , but the war of the r e l i g i o n s s t i l l raged. The Empire was ablaze and he was on the topmost s t o r e y . . . . When i n the autumn of 1619 the E l e c t o r F r e d e r i c k and h i s w i f e P r i n c e s s E l i z a b e t h entered Prague t o accept the crown o f f e r e d him by the Bohemian P r o t e s t a n t s , the World Harmony had been on the p r e s s e s , and K e p l e r had had time to suppress only i n a few f i n a l c o p i e s the d e d i c a t i o n to James of England, the P r i n c e s s ' s f a t h e r . (183) K e p l e r a l s o i s concerned t h a t the marriage of Regina t o a Lutheran i n the P a l a t i n a t e w i l l t a r him i n the eyes of the C a t h o l i c a u t h o r i t i e s . I t a l l seems t r i v i a l and academic t o Kepler, who i s uncomfortable with "pure" C a t h o l i c , Lutheran, and C a l v i n i s t views of the world. T h i s unease may be p l a c e d i n p a r t at the door of the Jew Winckelmann who argues t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e between C h r i s t i a n and Jew i s between a p r i o r i and a p o s t e r i o r i knowledge—"You t h i n k n o t h i n g i s r e a l u n t i l 173 i t has been spoken" (47). In s i m p l e r terms, the Jews are s t i l l w a i t i n g f o r the Messiah; t h e i r f a i t h r e l i e s not on the son of God's de f a c t o appearance, but on the simple b e l i e f of h i s coming (a form of prophecy). The debate with Winckelmann i s thus important t o K e p l e r ' s i n t e r r o g a t i o n of C a t h o l i c i s m , Lutheranism, and C a l v i n i s m . K e p l e r i s caught not j u s t between C a t h o l i c i s m and P r o t e s t a n t i s m , but Lutheranism and C a l v i n i s m . The s u c c e s s o r t o the k i n d l y Rector Papius at the s c h o o l , where he teaches, Johann Regius, i s an immediate enemy because of h i s s t r i c t C a l v i n i s t views. Yet i n l a t e r l i f e K e p l e r i s excommunicated from the Lutheran Church f o r appearing t o agree with the C a l v i n i s t s on the import of the Communion S e r v i c e . Lutheran P a s t o r H i t z l e r r e f u s e s K e p l e r Communion u n l e s s he r a t i f y the Formula of Concord. The s t i c k i n g p o i n t here i s the debate over t r a n s u b s t a n t i a t i o n . The C a l v i n i s t s b e l i e v e d t h a t the bread and wine at Communion were merely symbols. As K e p l e r d e c l a r e s , "The body and s o u l of C h r i s t are i n Heaven. God, s i r , i s not an a l c h e m i s t " (169). The t r u t h of K e p l e r ' s p o s i t i o n i s t h a t he f i n d s d i s c o m f o r t i n C a t h o l i c i s m , Lutheranism, and C a l v i n i s m . He appears t o l e a n toward fundamental P r o t e s t a n t i s m t o some extent by a l l o w i n g Regina to marry and l i v e i n an area p o p u l a t e d by C a l v i n i s t s and by d e d i c a t i n g h i s Harmonice  Mundi t o P r o t e s t a n t James I of England. What i s perhaps most p r o b l e m a t i c i s the i s s u e whether or not K e p l e r regards h i m s e l f as one of the e l e c t . Barbara d i s p a r a g e s t h i s n o t i o n 174 (18), but h i s success at cale n d a r making suggests t o the n a r r a t o r at l e a s t t h a t K e p l e r i s bound f o r greatness, t o be one o f "the e l e c t of t h i s world" (23). I f the n a r r a t o r i s a C a l v i n i s t , b e l i e v i n g i n p r e d e s t i n a t i o n , K e p l e r would appear then t o be a Lutheran on t h i s s u b j e c t — " I r e j e c t the barbarous d o c t r i n e of p r e d e s t i n a t i o n " (166). While K e p l e r d e c l a r e s h i s p o s i t i o n , the reader i s not so convinced, mainly because p r e d e s t i n a t i o n i s found i n a s t r o l o g y which, i n tu r n , b o l s t e r s K e p l e r ' s astronomy. I t i s meet, then, t o look at the r o l e of a s t r o l o g y i n K e p l e r ' s l i f e and work. IV. A s t r o l o g y S t r i c t l y d e f i n e d , the p r a c t i c e of a s t r o l o g y i s a p r e d i c t i v e p rocess based on num e r o l o g i c a l and g e o m e t r i c a l data. I t i s not hard t o see the s i m i l a r i t y between t h i s a c t i v i t y and a s t r o n o m i c a l model—making. Yet K e p l e r would l i k e t o r e s i s t any formal v a l i d a t i o n of a s t r o l o g y , s i n c e h i s astronomy might then appear to be of l e s s e r v a l u e . As he w r i t e s , somewhat b e l l i g e r e n t l y , i n a l e t t e r t o R o s l i n , "The s t a r s do not compel, they do not do away with f r e e w i l l , they do not decide the p a r t i c u l a r f a t e of an i n d i v i d u a l ; but they impress on the s o u l a p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r " (118) . Simply put, K e p l e r would l i k e t o have h i s cake and eat i t t o o . A s t r o l o g y , Kepler claims, i s "a p o l i t i c a l more than p r o p h e t i c a l t o o l " (114), a "pseudo—science" (117), a 175 " s t a r r y — s c r y i n g " (113). Perhaps, but the reader n o t i c e s how when K e p l e r i s r e l u c t a n t l y married, "he had not the h e a r t t o compute the f i g u r e s , nor the courage, c o n s i d e r i n g the c a l a m i t o u s d i s p o s i t i o n of the s t a r s " (40). On the s u r f a c e , the i n i t i a l i n t e r e s t i n a s t r o l o g y i s f i n a n c i a l . K e p l e r i s embarrassed t o admit t o Tycho t h a t he makes horoscopes f o r money (9). T h i s bread and b u t t e r work began at an e a r l y age. While at the P r o t e s t a n t s c h o o l , K e p l e r i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r making up a c a l e n d a r f o r the p r o v i n c e of S t y r i a . In the process, at h i s f i r s t attempt, he p r e d i c t s two events t h a t come t r u e — a bad w i n t e r and a T u r k i s h i n v a s i o n . K e p l e r confesses to M a s t l i n , a l s o a maker of horoscopes, t h a t he regards the p r a c t i c e as " s t a r magic" (31) which, nonetheless, m y s t e r i o u s l y i n f l u e n c e s people's l i v e s . T h i s t e r g i v e r s a t i n g response by K e p l e r t o M a s t l i n ' s e n q u i r y t o h i s involvement i n a s t r o l o g y i s borne out when the former draws up a horoscope f o r h i s f i r s t c h i l d H e i n r i c h . He pronounces i t p r o m i s i n g a f t e r he has made a number of m o d i f i c a t i o n s . The c h i l d d i e s w i t h i n two months, however. I t i s c u r i o u s t h a t Kepler d i s c l a i m s r a t i o n a l b e l i e f i n such ca l e n d a r making, and yet by h a b i t i n t r o d u c e s i t i n t o h i s own f a m i l y . More than t h i s , he i g n o r e s i t s o r i g i n a l p r o p h e c i e s . A s t r o l o g y and people's p e r c e p t i o n of i t , p a r t i c u l a r l y of those i n a b s o l u t e power, p l a c e the s u b j e c t i n K e p l e r ' s time on every astronomer's agenda. I t s p r e d i c t i v e power has 176 a n a t u r a l a t t r a c t i o n f o r Emperor Rudolph, who b e l i e v e s t h e r e i s "magic i n numbers" (81), d e s p i t e K e p l e r ' s v o l u b l e doubts. But some astronomers, l i k e Tycho Brahe, are concerned t h a t a s t r o l o g y ' s " f a l s e " b e l i e f system p r e v a i l i n the eyes of those i n power, because then more i n t e r e s t i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l work w i l l be f i n a n c e d . Tycho Brahe remarks t o Rudolph t h a t what a t t r a c t e d him t o astronomy (and a s t r o l o g y ) was t h a t c e r t a i n a s t r o n o m i c a l events c o u l d be p r e d i c t e d , were prob a b l y i n f l u e n t i a l i n the world, and t h e r e f o r e of use t o Kings, P r i n c e s , and t r a v e l l e r s . N a t u r a l l y , B a n v i l l e reminds us here as w e l l t h a t i n K e p l e r ' s time, alchemy and a s t r o l o g y were on a par with e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n as ways t o the t r u t h . Today we may have d i s c a r d e d them, but Copernicus, Ke p l e r , and Newton c o u l d not do so. B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y suggests t h a t we have been overhasty i n our d i s m i s s a l of a n t i — e m p i r i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . As time passes, K e p l e r takes up Brahe's p o s i t i o n on a s t r o l o g y , c o n f e s s i n g i n a l e t t e r t o Hans Geo. Herwart von Hohenburg t h a t Rudolph i s i n the hands of "wizards" (114) . K e p l e r would l i k e t o f i n d a g e o m e t r i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n t o the g r a i n s of t r u t h he has found i n a s t r o l o g y , and h i s s e r i o u s academic s e a r c h i n g may be t r a c e d to h i s p e r i o d at Winckelmann's house where " a s t r o l o g y , which f o r so l o n g he had d e s p i s e d , assumed a new s i g n i f i c a n c e i n i t s t h e o r y of a s p e c t s " (49). He r a i s e s the s p e c t r e of a s t r o l o g y , however, onl y so h i g h . In c o n s i d e r i n g h i s Harmonice Mundi, he ruminates: "Do 177 the p l a n e t a r y aspects i n f l u e n c e us? Yes, but the z o d i a c i s n o . t r u l y e x i s t i n g arc, only an image of the s o u l p r o j e c t e d upon the sky. We do not s u f f e r , but a c t , are not i n f l u e n c e d but are o u r s e l v e s the i n f l u e n c e s " (180). K e p l e r d e s i r e s d e s p e r a t e l y f o r f r e e w i l l t o be the order of the day, but he i s never t o t a l l y c o n v i n c i n g . For example, i n the power s t r u g g l e f o r Emperor between Rudolph and M a t t h i a s , both s i d e s seek the I m p e r i a l Mathematician's a d v i c e . K e p l e r draws up t h e i r horoscopes which, yet again c o r r e c t l y p r e d i c t the outcome, namely the v i c t o r y of M a t t h i a s . We are l e f t w i t h the b i z a r r e s i t u a t i o n of Kepler, who does not f u l l y b e l i e v e i n a s t r o l o g y by any s t r e t c h of the i m a g i n a t i o n , f a l s i f y i n g h i s r e s u l t s t o g i v e s o l a c e to Rudolph. A s t r o l o g y i s at the same time a r e l i e f and a curse when, l a t e i n l i f e , K e p l e r a p p l i e s t o Emperor F e r d i n a n d f o r patronage. He does not succeed but meets General von W a l l e n s t e i n , Ferdinand's C h i e f Commander, who r e v e a l s t h a t twenty years e a r l i e r the c a l e n d a r t h a t K e p l e r drew up f o r him was very a c c u r a t e . Again prophecy proves t o be a w o r l d l y h e l p to Kepler, now t h a t he comes under the c o n t r o l and b e n e f i c e of the General. However, t h i s arrangement soon d e t e r i o r a t e s i n t o n o t h i n g more than K e p l e r ' s compliance i n drawing up the raw data f o r "more w i l l i n g w i z a rds" (188) t o c o n s t r u c t dubious horoscopes. His ambivalence towards a s t r o l o g y remains, t h e r e f o r e , r i g h t t o the end. 178 V. P h y s i c a l i z a t i o n I t may seem strange to s h i f t from astronomy and a s t r o l o g y t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n of K e p l e r ' s view of p h y s i c a l i z a t i o n ; however, as the s c i e n t i s t w r i t e s i n a l e t t e r , he wishes t o reshape c e l e s t i a l motion, s e e k i n g t o e x p l a i n the phenomena from " p h y s i c a l causes" (112) . In g e n e r a l terms, t h i s i s c l e a r l y an attempt to merge i n t a n g i b l e t h e o r y and t a n g i b l e p r a c t i c e . K e p l e r ' s own s u b j e c t i v e o b s e r v a t i o n of the world needs t o be i n t e g r a t e d i n t o h i s o v e r a l l c o nception of the heavens, otherwise h i s work w i l l be j u s t another d i s p e n s a b l e and f a l s i f i a b l e t h e o r y . The most dynamic f i g u r e i n K e p l e r who r e p r e s e n t s the problem of the p h y s i c a l world and i t s randomness i s F e l i x , the I t a l i a n mercenary. There seems to be a b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n o p e r a t i n g between Kepler and the I t a l i a n , the i n t e l l e c t u a l and the p h y s i c a l . I f only he c o u l d understand the I t a l i a n , he would then grasp a major c l u e about the p h y s i c a l causes of the u n i v e r s e . K e p l e r f i r s t comes across the mercenary e a t i n g v o r a c i o u s l y i n Benatek C a s t l e . C o n s i s t e n t l y , K e p l e r n o t i c e s I t a l i a n oranges b e s i d e F e l i x which, l i k e the mercenary, "were uncanny i n t h e i r tense i n e x o r a b l e t h e r e n e s s " (7). Since he d i d not know any b e t t e r , the young s c i e n t i s t mistakes him f o r the e c c e n t r i c Tycho Brahe. T h i s f a u l t y s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n t i e s F e l i x t o K e p l e r ' s s c i e n t i f i c d e s t i n y . 179 The second experience i s when the wounded I t a l i a n a r r i v e s , C h r i s t — l i k e , on a mule. S u g g e s t i v e l y , he s i t s by a m i r r o r and l e a n s i n t o h i s r e f l e c t i o n , becoming a k i n d of m i r r o r image f o r K e p l e r who, i n c a r i n g f o r the w o r l d l y F e l i x , b e l i e v e s he has r e g a i n e d a dimension of h i m s e l f , "a v i v i d and uncanny sense of h i s own presence" (68). Throughout the convalescence of the I t a l i a n , K e pler seems t o be c o n s t a n t l y at the man's bedside, d e s p i t e the f a c t he i s c o n t i n u a l l y i g n o r e d . One wonders i f the I t a l i a n mercenary i s the s u r r o g a t e f o r G a l i l e o i n K e p l e r ' s mind. He p e r s i s t s because "In the I t a l i a n he seemed to know at l a s t , however v i c a r i o u s l y , the s p l e n d i d and e x h i l a r a t i n g s o r d i d n e s s of r e a l l i f e " (169). L a t e r , the recovered s o l d i e r s t r i d e s d r a m a t i c a l l y i n t o the Dane's sickroom only i n time t o c l a s p Brahe's dead hand. For Kepler, the f i n a l i r o n y i s t o l e a r n from Jeppe, the dwarf, t h a t the I t a l i a n ' s b a s t a r d w i l l i n h e r i t money and m a t e r i a l s owed to him (Kepler) from Tengnagel. The I t a l i a n ' s enigmatic nature most l i k e l y s t r i k e s a chord w i t h K e p l e r ' s vague memory of h i s f a t h e r , a mercenary a l s o . K e p l e r wonders i f one can love a l i f e of c e a s e l e s s a c t i o n , one d e v o i d of r e t r o s p e c t i o n . The e a r l i e s t scenes of h i s f a t h e r he can remember i s of the b e a t i n g of h i s b r o t h e r H e i n r i c h t o "cure" him of e p i l e p s y . In t h i n k i n g of h i s f a t h e r , K e p l e r c o n s i d e r s the e a r t h i n e s s of t h a t man's l i f e : The stamping of f e e t on the march, the b r a s s y 180 s t i n k of f e a r and e x p e c t a t i o n on the b a t t l e f i e l d at dawn, br u t e warmth and d e l i r i u m of the wayside inn? What? Was i t p o s s i b l e t o l o v e mere a c t i o n the t h r i l l of c e a s e l e s s doing?" (96) T h i s f a s c i n a t i o n with a c t i o n a l s o r e l a t e s t o General von W a l l e n s t e i n : W a l l e n s t e i n ' s world was a l l n o i s e and event, a c e a s e l e s s coming and going to the accompaniment of d i s t a n t cannonades and hoofbeats at midnight: as i f he too were i n f l i g h t from an i n e x o r a b l e demon of h i s own. Yet Kepler had never known a man who so f i t t e d the shape and s i z e of h i s a l l o t t e d space. What emptiness c o u l d t h e r e be i n him, t h a t a s t a l k i n g d e v i l would seek f o r a home? (188) In h i s own experience, he f i n d s i t d i f f i c u l t t o argue with h i s mother's l u r i d remedies f o r i l l n e s s e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y when she p o w e r f u l l y a s s e r t s : " I dabble with the world, you keep your snout t u r n e d to the sky and t h i n k you're s a f e " (106). Only when the w i t c h c r a f t charge i s lodged does K e p l e r seem t o assume l e a d e r s h i p on the i s s u e . T h i s h e s i t a t i o n i s p a r t l y e x p l a i n e d by the n a t u r a l deference c h i l d r e n have f o r t h e i r p a r e n t s and p a r t l y by K e p l e r ' s gut f e e l i n g t h a t she may be more i n tune with the world than he i s . The w i t c h c r a f t t r i a l of h i s mother i s analogous t o h i s own p r e d i c t i v e a s p i r a t i o n s and h i s r e l i g i o u s t r y s t s . K e p l e r and h i s mother do not deny c e r t a i n " f a c t s " of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s but they do q u e s t i o n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of those f a c t s . One p o s s i b l e c o n f u s i o n i s why K e p l e r sees the Jew's demise and the t r i a l i n c o n j u n c t i o n . Both Judaism and n a t u r a l medicine 181 (and K e p l e r ' s t h e o r i e s ) are divergences from the orthodoxy of C a t h o l i c i s m . Of s p e c i f i c p h y s i c a l importance to K e p l e r h i m s e l f i s the memory of a b e a t i n g as a c h i l d meted out by h i s mother, i n which he e x p e r i e n c e d the " s t a r t l i n g v i v i d n e s s of p a i n , the world a b r u p t l y s h i f t i n g i n t o a new v e r s i o n of r e a l i t y " (44). His a t t i t u d e t o h i s wife Barbara i s one of awe at her p h y s i c a l i t y . At the wedding r e c e p t i o n , "he suddenly found h i m s e l f h o l d i n g something unexpectedly v i v i d and e x o t i c " (40) . He goes f u r t h e r t o say t h a t she was " f l e s h , a c o r p o r e a l world wherein he touched and found s t a r t i n g l y r e a l , something t h a t was wholly other and yet r e c o g n i s a b l e " (41) . U n s u r p r i s i n g l y , t o s o c i a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e K e p l e r , Barbara achieves " i d e a l harmony" (41) when pregnant. P h y s i c a l experiences are h i g h l y p r i z e d by K e p l e r , p a r t i c u l a r l y so when he comes to the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the p r i n c i p l e of uniform v e l o c i t y i s f a l s e . T h i s c r e a t i v e i n t e l l e c t u a l l e a p a r r i v e s j u s t a f t e r a whore f o n d l e s him and j u s t b e f o r e he vomits!: "He m a r v e l l e d at the p r o c e s s , how a p a r t of h i s mind had worked away i n s e c r e t and i n s i l e n c e w h i le the r e s t of him s w i l l e d and capered and l u s t e d a f t e r poxed whores" (73). I t i s an i n c i d e n t t h a t would f i t i n w e l l w i t h K o e s t l e r ' s examples i n h i s Act of C r e a t i o n (1964) c i t e d i n chapter two and the same f e a t u r e occurs i n Doctor  Copernicus, as c i t e d i n chapter t h r e e . The n a t u r a l world has a p l e a s i n g , moderating, i n f l u e n c e over the e x c i t a b l e s c i e n t i s t . In an academic argument with 182 h i s o l d t e a c h e r M a s t l i n , K e p l e r f i n d s strange sustenance i n a f l o c k of sheep, p a r t l y because they are mute and p a r t l y because no e a s i l y apprehended p a t t e r n to t h e i r e x i s t e n c e i s p r e s e n t e d : "Sometimes l i k e t h i s the world bore i n upon him suddenly, a l l t h a t which i s without apparent p a t t e r n or shape, but i s simply t h e r e " (31). T h i s magical f e e l i n g a l s o i n c l u d e s a view of a p r a n c i n g horse and hound near the Emperor's p a l a c e (58). The d e c i s i o n t o a p o l o g i z e t o Tycho a f t e r another e n d l e s s academic argument i s prompted by a look at the n a t u r a l world, i n t h i s case Baron Hoffmann's garden a f t e r a shower (60—1, 86). And, f i n a l l y , the d e c i s i o n t o make up a f t e r an argument with Jonas Saur, the p r i n t e r , i s p r e s s e d upon him by t a k i n g stock of h i s p r i o r i t i e s w h i le i n the midst of a f i e l d of t u r n i p s (187) . F o r e v e r seeking the t a n g i b l e which does not speak or e x p l a i n i t s e l f , K e p l e r i s n a t u r a l l y drawn t o h i s stepdaughter Regina. L i k e the sheep, she i s o f t e n mute. She a t t r a c t s him p h y s i c a l l y , so much so t h a t when she announces her marriage, he i s i n s a n e l y j e a l o u s . A l s o , when K e p l e r m a r r i e s l a t e i n l i f e , he chooses a g i r l who not only resembled Regina i n muteness but who a l s o had a poor cabinet—maker as a f a t h e r . I t i s no s u r p r i s e t o the reader t h a t K e p l e r has a dream of " i n e x p l i c a b l e s i g n i f i c a n c e " (178), s t a r r i n g the I t a l i a n h o l d i n g a s t a t u e which comes t o l i f e , w i t h the face of Regina. These two i n d i v i d u a l s K e p l e r l o v e s , although he i s never s a t i s f i e d with what i s g i v e n i n r e t u r n . T h i s blockage i s symptomatic of the g u l f K e p l e r 183 f e e l s i n h i s a s t r o n o m i c a l work between the thereness of the p l a n e t s and the t r a n s i t o r i n e s s of any t h e o r e t i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n . V I . Dreams, V i s i o n s , Prophecies Dreams, v i s i o n s , and prophecies are o f t e n i n t e r t w i n e d as images b l u r r i n g past, present, and f u t u r e events. In the o s c i l l a t i n g world of Kepler, and i n h i s attempts t o t h e o r i z e o r b i t a l motion they are, u n s u r p r i s i n g l y , p o t e n t . Dreams and v i s i o n s p l a y a mysterious (though g e n e r a l l y r e c u p e r a t i v e ) r o l e i n the mind of K e p l e r the s c i e n t i s t . The novel opens wit h the dream which p u r p o r t s to p r o v i d e "the s o l u t i o n t o the cosmic mystery" (3). He dreams of a p e r f e c t egg which s h a t t e r s once he has been awoken. The few c o o r d i n a t e s of broken s h e l l are l e f t , along with the number 0 . 0 0 4 2 9 , which i s t o be of extreme importance to h i s l a t e r work. T h i s dream i s r e c o r d e d i n a l e t t e r t o David F a b r i c i u s , when he has "remembered" the c r u c i a l number and asks: "Was i t a p r e m o n i t i o n glimpsed i n some f o r g o t t e n dream?" (151). When K e p l e r d e c l a r e s t h a t the world i s a " m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t y of o r d e r , " he wonders, "Was t h i s another fragment out of t h a t morning's dream?" ( 7 ) . Most markedly, the p r o c e s s of d i s c o v e r y of the e l l i p t i c a l o r b i t of Mars s t r i k e s K e p l e r as resembling a dream. He w r i t e s i n a l e t t e r t o a c o l l e a g u e : "Thus we do progress, my dear Doctor, 184 b l u n d e r i n g l y , i n a dream, l i k e wise but undeveloped c h i l d r e n ! " (150). On a number of o c c a s i o n s , dreams are p o r t r a y e d as a form of a n t i d o t e : f i r s t l y , i t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t K e p l e r ' s c a r i n g of the I t a l i a n becomes a k i n d of dream (69), s i n c e when the s o l d i e r i s b e t t e r he does not r e c o g n i z e or acknowledge h i s eager nurse; secondly, on s e e i n g the l i g h t of the B i l l i g s ' house a f t e r t r a v e l l i n g f o r a l o n g time i n the dark and r a i n , K e pler compares i t t o "an image out of a dream" (155); and t h i r d l y , Kepler d i e s with p l e a s a n t dreams c i r c u l a t i n g i n h i s mind. Admittedly, t h e r e remains the " i n e x p l i c a b l e " dream of F e l i x and Regina, and the r e c u r r i n g dream he had had as a c h i l d which d e p i c t e d " t e r r i b l e t o r t u r e s and c a t a s t r o p h e s " (157). These are f o r b i d d i n g images, but they are not dominating. Indeed, i t appears t h a t v i s i o n s are paramount, f o r " i n h i s h e a r t the p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of a s t r o n o m i c a l events meant n o t h i n g t o him; what d i d he care f o r n a v i g a t o r s or c a l e n d a r makers, f o r p r i n c e s and Kings? The demented dreamer i n him r e b e l l e d " (86). F o l l o w i n g t h i s k i n d of a s s e r t i o n , we h a l f expect t o see t h a t the " i n e x p l i c a b l e dream" s t a r r i n g F e l i x and Regina i s i n s c r i b e d i n t o h i s work, " i t s s i l v e r y glimmer was m y s t e r i o u s l y present i n every page of h i s book of the harmony of the world" (179). In h i s s l e e p he moves i n t o b l a c k space, to become a K o e s t l e r l i k e sleep—walker or "night—walker" (180). What he b r i n g s back from t h i s journey i n t o b l a c k n e s s he b e l i e v e s to be a t r u e " v i s i o n t h a t has 185 [ n e v e r t h e l e s s ] a l l at once opened b e f o r e me of the profound e f f e c t s of what I have wrought" (111). L i k e b l i n d Jeppe's p r o p h e t i c a b i l i t i e s , K e p l e r ' s dreams and v i s i o n s c a t a p u l t him i n t o a more informed and " b e t t e r world" (99). One senses K e p l e r regards much of h i s w r i t i n g as a k i n d of dream work. G e n e r a l l y , t h i s c o u l d j u s t i f y i m a g i n a t i v e f a b r i c a t i o n of h i s data t o f i t an e l e g a n t theory, a f a c t r e c e n t l y uncovered about the r e a l K e p l e r . 8 More s p e c i f i c a l l y , Somnium, h i s l a s t work, opens with a f i c t i o n a l dream of a journey to the moon: "The s t o r y of the boy Duracotus, and h i s mother F i o l x h i l d a the witch, and the strange sad s t u n t e d c r e a t u r e s of the moon, f i l l e d him with q u i e t i n n e r l a u g h t e r , at h i m s e l f , at h i s s c i e n c e , at the m i l d f o o l i s h n e s s of e v e r y t h i n g " (190). I t i s tempting t o argue t h a t i f t h i s work i s the summation of a l l h i s p r e v i o u s w r i t i n g s , then i t i s an admission t h a t a l l s u c c e s s f u l t h e o r i e s are dream v i s i o n s , which happen t o work i n the r e a l world as usable paradigms. Dreams and v i s i o n s are d i s o r d e r e d images which we draw upon to order our p r e s e n t and f u t u r e behaviour. For B a n v i l l e ' s Kepler, such v i s i o n s h e l p t o order h i s supposedly o b j e c t i v e s c i e n t i f i c work w i t h i n an a r t i s t i c frame. By way of c o n c l u s i o n , I t h i n k i t i s important t o s t r e s s t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s K e p l e r i s a t e l l i n g c o n f r o n t a t i o n of the exact and i n e x a c t s c i e n c e s , of the power of s o c i a l i n f l u e n c e s i n determining the a c c e p t a b l e s c i e n c e of the day. 186 The s t r i v i n g f o r order out of d i s o r d e r i s paramount and, as a g e n e r a l concept, b r i d g e s K e p l e r ' s a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c o u t l o o k s . His involvement with h i s c o l l e a g u e s i n the f i e l d of astronomy, mainly by l e t t e r , r e v e a l a man aware t h a t s c i e n c e must be s o c i a l l y n e g o t i a t e d f i r s t b e f o r e i t can be p u b l i c l y j u s t i f i e d by e m p i r i c a l t e s t i n g . H is ex p e r i e n c e s with a s t r o l o g y , p h y s i c a l i z a t i o n , and dream t e l l him t h a t a s c i e n t i s t cannot u n i l a t e r a l l y l i m i t h i s model—making t o r a t i o n a l e n q u i r y . The s c i e n t i s t ' s mind must t r u l y be as f l e x i b l e as the a r t i s t ' s . 187 Notes to chapter f o u r 1 See i n t e r v i e w with Rudiger Imhof, IUR S p r i n g 1981: 6. 2 See Imhof (1989): 131-8. 3 Whereas K e p l e r i s a Copernican i n t h a t he b e l i e v e s the sun i s at the c e n t r e of the u n i v e r s e , Tycho Brahe b e l i e v e s the e a r t h i s s t i l l at the c e n t r e while the other p l a n e t s c i r c l e the sun. ^ For a f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n of h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c m e t a f i c t i o n and John B a n v i l l e ' s work, see Hutcheon (1988): 93, 113, 142, 150, 184, and 186. ^ G e r a l d Holton (1988: 54) takes t h i s p o s i t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the h i s t o r i c a l K e p l e r : "When h i s p h y s i c s f a i l s , h i s metaphysics comes to the rescue." ^ S i m i l a r "brooding" can be found i n recent " s c i e n t i f i c " works on Chaos Theory, p a r t i c u l a r l y G l e i c k (1987), Hawking (1988), and Mandelbrot (1977/ rev. ed. 1983). ' The anagram has s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t s p e l l i n g v e r s i o n s i n K o e s t l e r (1959: 376); Kepler (138-9); and Imhof (1989: 115 & 184nl7). Imhof f o l l o w s K o e s t l e r f o r the f i r s t p a r t of the word and Caspar (1959) f o r the l a s t p a r t . B a n v i l l e seems to have j u s t m i s s p e l t K o e s t l e r ' s v e r s i o n . ^ W i l l i a m Donahue has r e c e n t l y claimed t h a t K e p l e r f a b r i c a t e d data to enhance h i s theory concerning the way the p l a n e t s r e v o l v e around the sun. See Broad (1990). 188 Chapter F i v e R e c o n s t r u c t i n g A r t i s t i c and S c i e n t i f i c Paradigms: The Newton L e t t e r In one person he combined the experimenter, the t h e o r i s t , the mechanic, and, not l e a s t , the a r t i s t i n e x p o s i t i o n . ( A l b e r t E i n s t e i n on Newton) ^ B a n v i l l e ' s s h o r t f i c t i o n The Newton L e t t e r (1982) i s the t h i r d volume i n the contemporary I r i s h n o v e l i s t ' s s c i e n t i f i c t e t r a l o g y . I t f o l l o w s Doctor Copernicus (1976) and K e p l e r (1981), but comes b e f o r e M e f i s t o (1986). At f i r s t g l ance, The Newton L e t t e r appears to be a r a d i c a l departure from the two p r e v i o u s works. I t comprises o n l y eighty—one pages, u n l i k e Doctor Copernicus, which has two hundred and forty—two pages, and Kepler, which has one hundred and ninety—two pages. A l s o , the whole d i s c o u r s e i s c h a n n e l l e d through a f i r s t person n a r r a t o r ( i n a l e t t e r t o h i s t o r y ) who i s a major p a r t i c i p a n t i n the a c t i o n , whereas an i n t e r p l a y between f i r s t and t h i r d person n a r r a t i v e s had f o r m e r l y been B a n v i l l e ' s method of e x p r e s s i o n . Furthermore, we are p r o j e c t e d t o t w e n t i e t h — c e n t u r y I r e l a n d i n s t e a d of contemporary e i g h t e e n t h — c e n t u r y England to g r a p p l e with the importance of Isaac Newton. Des p i t e these obvious q u a n t i t a t i v e and s t y l i s t i c d i f f e r e n c e s , The, Newton L e t t e r 189 c o n t i n u e s t o examine, a l b e i t i n d i r e c t l y , a gr e a t s c i e n t i s t ' s o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e s . The g e n e r a l f e e l i n g and tone of the n o v e l l a i s one of sombre r e f l e c t i o n at past mistakes and i n f e r e n c e s . T h i s tone i s a l s o captured i n the l a t t e r p a r t s of the f i r s t two - t e t r a l o g y t e x t s . One senses t h a t B a n v i l l e d e c i d e d at t h i s j u n c t u r e t o narrow h i s focus t o a s p e c i f i c time, a s p e c i f i c p l a c e , as w e l l as a s p e c i f i c s u b j e c t ( i n c r i s i s ) t o q u e s t i o n the m e c h a n i s t i c or clockwork laws of the u n i v e r s e which made Newton famous. B a n v i l l e seems t o have chosen Newton's l e t t e r s as a b a s i s f o r e x p l o r a t i o n , perhaps because, as M. H. N i c o l s o n has i n d i c a t e d , "There i s l i t t l e enough metaphysics i n Newton's s c i e n t i f i c w r i t i n g s , and students have been f o r c e d t o deduce many of h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l o p i n i o n s from h i s l e t t e r s " (1946; 1963, 74-75). How does the t h i r d volume f i t i n t h e o r e t i c a l l y t o B a n v i l l e ' s p r e v i o u s work? C l e a r l y , Doctor Copernicus and Ke p l e r c o n c e n t r a t e on the many s o c i e t a l i n f l u e n c e s upon the s c i e n t i s t i n forming h i s ideas, as G e r a l d Holton has propagated as necessary f o r the f u l l u nderstanding of s c i e n t i f i c laws. Furthermore, both t e x t s approach the thorny problem of paradigm change, as Thomas Kuhn has e l a b o r a t e d upon. Moreover, the two novels f o l l o w very c l o s e l y the ge n e s i s of c r e a t i v i t y expounded by A r t h u r K o e s t l e r . The t h i r d volume of the t e t r a l o g y g r a p p l e s with the f i r s t two p o i n t s at the expense of the t h i r d . 190 C r i t i c i s m of the n o v e l l a so f a r has not s e t t l e d i n t o e a s i l y r e c o g n i z a b l e p a t t e r n s , although R i c h a r d Kearney (1988) and Rudiger Imhof (1989) have d i r e c t e d a t t e n t i o n t o the i n t e r t e x t u a l p l a y of the f i c t i o n , while Joseph McMinn (1988) has argued t h a t I r i s h themes must not be ove r l o o k e d . I t seems t o me t h a t a s t r o n g e r argument can be made t h a t B a n v i l l e ' s whole p r o j e c t i s of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t f o r c r i t i c s and w r i t e r s who see much value i n the convergence between l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y and s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r y . C e r t a i n l y k i n d r e d problems i n both p r a c t i c e s appear t o be a r t i c u l a t e d , i f not addressed, i n the eighty—one page n o v e l l a . These p r a c t i c e s i n c l u d e the s e t t i n g up of a workable frame which, most l i k e l y , i s "knowingly f a l s e , " the r e l i a n c e upon c e r t a i n key concepts, the f a s c i n a t i o n with images, and the need t o put i d e a s i n w r i t i n g . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , B a n v i l l e ' s n a r r a t o r i n The Newton  L e t t e r i s an h i s t o r i a n who has t o n e g o t i a t e o b s t a c l e s s i m i l a r t o those f a c i n g a s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i s t who t r i e s t o c o n s t r u c t a new model f o r understanding the world. The meeting between a r t i s t and s c i e n t i s t i s enhanced by the f a c t t h a t the h i s t o r i a n i s attempting t o produce a biography of Newton. The main argument of t h i s chapter i s t h a t the n a r r a t o r — h i s t o r i a n u n c o n s c i o u s l y draws c l e a r t h e o r e t i c a l p a r a l l e l s between h i s own " a r t i s t i c " l i f e and work and h i s su b j e c t Newton's s c i e n t i f i c l i f e and work. Some g e n e r a l connections between these two " n a r r a t i v e s " can be made e a s i l y . In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , the n a r r a t o r 191 must deal with the eighteenth—century influences on his subject and the twentieth—century influences on his own writing of the past. A s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i a n must examine the s o c i a l reasons for a previous theory to have been popular i n the past and the current reasons for accepting or re j e c t i n g i t . Second, the narrator must account for sudden "revolutions" or paradigm changes i n his l i f e and thought. A h i s t o r i a n of s c i e n t i f i c theory must also c l a r i f y what i s o r i g i n a l , conventional, or simply wrong i n the work of other t h e o r i s t s . Third, the narrator must endeavour to explain his creative and noncreative periods. Likewise, the s c i e n t i f i c h i s t o r i a n must puzzle out what creative thought ac t u a l l y i s , i f he i s to make claims for his own forays i n the f i e l d . It might be futher argued that s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i s t s such as Newton are, i n fact, h istorians, since they must b u i l d upon previous work. Newton always claimed he could see so far as he had giants l i k e Kepler to help him. What Banvi l l e seems to be suggesting by the structure and content of the text i s something that resembles a fl e s h i n g out of the theories of Thomas Kuhn on S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions. We know that Banville has read Kuhn c l o s e l y : he acknowledges his work in the foreword to Doctor  Copernicus. In my view, t h i s influence i s the cornerstone of the novella's provocativeness. In p a r t i c u l a r , B a n v i l l e sets up a p a r a l l e l between s c i e n t i f i c paradigms and a r t i s t i c paradigms. The Newton Letter then becomes a l i t e r a r y e x p l o r a t i o n of the wider a p p l i c a b i l i t y of s c i e n t i f i c paradigm change. I t h i n k a b r i e f o u t l i n e of the n o v e l l a i s u s e f u l here. A nameless D u b l i n h i s t o r i a n i s c r i p p l e d i n completing h i s chapter on Newton's breakdown i n 1693. He moves t o a country house e s t a t e i n the South of I r e l a n d l o o k i n g f o r i n s p i r a t i o n . He becomes f a s c i n a t e d with the Lawless f a m i l y from whom he has re n t e d h i s accommodation. He i s f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d t o two women: C h a r l o t t e , who, along with her husband Edward, owns the Fern House e s t a t e ; and O t t i l i e , a younger woman i n her tw e n t i e s . A young boy, M i c h a e l , l a t e r appears. The h i s t o r i a n f i n d s the exact r e l a t i o n s h i p s among these people e l u s i v e , at l e a s t u n t i l near the end of h i s n a r r a t i v e . Not a great d e a l of a c t i o n subsequently o c c u r s . The h i s t o r i a n begins a sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p with O t t i l i e , w h i l e s e c r e t l y h a r b o u r i n g d e s i r e s f o r C h a r l o t t e , who we g r a d u a l l y l e a r n i s pr e o c c u p i e d with Edward's cancer of the stomach, her own se d a t i o n , and with the p o s s i b l e l o s s of he home—based b u s i n e s s . The h i s t o r i a n s o c i a l i z e s w i t h t h i s e nigmatic f a m i l y , i n the process of which he f i n d s great d i f f i c u l t y i n r e t u r n i n g t o h i s manuscript on Newton. He meets a b r a s i v e r e l a t i v e s of C h a r l o t t e at a b i r t h d a y p a r t y f o r M i c h a e l . The h i s t o r i a n l eaves f o r D u b l i n f o l l o w i n g a c a t h a r t i c evening when Edward has t o be attended t o by a doc t o r a f t e r a bout of heavy d r i n k i n g . Keeping up a correspondence with O t t i l i e , the h i s t o r i a n l e a r n s t h a t he i the f a t h e r of her soon—to—be—born c h i l d . The novel ends 193 with the seeming optimism of the historian's determination to resume work on his manuscript and to continue his r e l a t i o n s h i p with O t t i l i e . As the h i s t o r i a n t r i e s to come to terms with his writer's block, i t becomes clear to the reader that the feelings of uncertainty and hesita t i o n exhibited by both Newton and his biographer result for the most part from an i n a b i l i t y to provide a t h e o r e t i c a l framework with which to account for new empirical and conceptual data. The undismissability of anomalies bends, stretches, and f i n a l l y breaks the narrator's e x i s t i n g paradigms. In turn, such a breakage allows a new paradigm to be formed. Kuhnian paradigms are understood here as s c i e n t i f i c achievements generally agreed upon by a community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s and theoreticians who can then concur on the nature of the problems s t i l l to be solved. A r t i s t i c paradigms may also be understood as generally agreed coordinates, such as character types, a balance of scene and summary, a consistent narrative frame, and the u n i t i e s of time and space, which combine to convey an apparently s e t t l e d system. The s e t t l e d "systems" i n f i c t i o n , i t could be argued, have been agreed upon by novelists, the majority of readers, publishers, j o u r n a l i s t s , and c r i t i c s . L i t e r a r y movements— realism, naturalism, magic realism, modernism, and postmodernism—have t h e i r proponents and detractors, a struggle for dominance not unlike competing s c i e n t i f i c 194 t h e o r i e s . T h i s e x p l a i n s why s o - c a l l e d outmoded paradigms can make a comeback wearing only s l i g h t l y new c l o t h e s . In t h i s way, motions of l i n e a r i t y and of c i r c u l a r i t y are r e c o n c i l e d , i n the sense of K o e s t l e r i a n " r i p e n e s s . " The c o m p a t i b i l i t y between these g e n e r a l d e f i n i t i o n s of a r t i s t i c and s c i e n t i f i c paradigms underscores B a n v i l l e ' s complete t e t r a l o g y . We have a l r e a d y seen t h a t what c h a r a c t e r i z e s B a n v i l l e ' s Doctor Copernicus and K e p l e r i s the constant i n t e r r o g a t i o n of agreed s u p p o s i t i o n s by both t h i r d and f i r s t person n a r r a t o r s . The n o v e l l a i s no e x c e p t i o n . I t s n a r r a t o r g r a p p l e s w i t h — a l m o s t g l e e f u l l y — p a r t s of the o v e r a l l sum which do not add up. I. D e a l i n g with C r i s e s A c c o r d i n g t o Thomas Kuhn, when c r i s e s i n s c i e n c e occur they are s o l v e d i n one of t h r e e ways: (1) by an ingenious reworking of the e x i s t i n g paradigm; (2) by a move t o l a b e l them as " i n s o l u b l e " or "time—wasting"; or (3) by a new paradigm, over which t h e r e i s much disagreement (Kuhn 84 ) . The n a r r a t o r ' s Newton takes the second course of a c t i o n v i s a v i s doubts concerning the a b s o l u t e nature of space, time, and motion, while B a n v i l l e ' s n a r r a t o r h i m s e l f seems t o p r o g r e s s through a l l t h r e e stages i n the understanding of h i s own l i f e and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . I t may be more ac c u r a t e to say t h a t t h i s p r o t a g o n i s t experiences the f o r e g r o u n d i n g of a new paradigm, comprising i n Kuhn's words, "the p r e v i o u s 195 awareness of anomaly, the gradual and simultaneous ex p e r i e n c e of both o b s e r v a t i o n a l and c o n c e p t u a l r e c o g n i t i o n , and the consequent change of paradigm c a t e g o r i e s and procedures o f t e n accompanied by r e s i s t a n c e " (62). T h i s t h r e e — s t e p process i s m i r r o r e d both by the n a r r a t o r and by the n a r r a t o r ' s understanding of Newton's a c t i v i t i e s i n 1693. The l a t t e r i s c l e a r l y based on the assumption t h a t f o l l o w i n g Newton's P r i n c i p i a , the s c i e n t i s t ' s work began t o c a s t doubt on p r e v i o u s achievements. T h i s "breakdown" p e r i o d , the h i s t o r i a n assumes, emerged because of an u n d i s s m i s s a b l e anomaly which began to move from the p e r i p h e r y t o the c e n t r e of h i s thoughts, thus forming a new model. The n a r r a t o r expresses t h i s t o r t u r o u s process v i a the s e l f — r e f l e x i v e form of a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l reminiscence, i n the midst of which t h e r e are attempts to o b j e c t i f y and d i s t a n c e e x p e r i e n c e by recourse t o t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g . These attempts are s h o r t — l i v e d , however, and o f t e n f l i p p a n t l y undermined (see below). What i s c e r t a i n l y c l e a r i s t h a t the n a r r a t o r has decided to work through h i s w r i t e r ' s b l o c k by w r i t i n g a m i s s i v e to the muse of h i s t o r y , " C l i o " or " C l i o n a . " The n o v e l l a opens with an address to the muse: "Words f a i l me, C l i o . How d i d you t r a c k me down, d i d I l e a v e b l o o d s t a i n s i n the snow? I won't t r y t o a p o l o g i s e . Instead, I want simply to e x p l a i n , so t h a t we both might understand" (1). Yet he i s caught i n the t y p i c a l s c i e n t i s t ' s and a r t i s t ' s conundrum: how does one t r u t h f u l l y o b j e c t i f y s u b j e c t i v e experiences? 196 The n a r r a t o r ' s awareness of a p r e v i o u s anomaly i s c r y s t a l l i z e d i n the flawed f i g u r e of Newton ( c i r c a 1693) whom he has c r e a t e d i n h i s w r i t i n g , i n c l u d i n g the s c i e n t i s t ' s i n t e l l e c t u a l and p e r s o n a l problems. Gradual change t o a new paradigm i s e f f e c t e d by the l e n g t h y time and thought he expends on the Lawlesses at Fern House, an i n t e r e s t i n g surname of B e c k e t t i a n p r o p o r t i o n s — a parody of Newton's exact laws and s u g g e s t i v e of entropy or i n c r e a s i n g d i s o r d e r . Although the Newton l e t t e r " d i s c o u r s e " appears very b r i e f l y i n the t e x t , i t i s p a r t of the new paradigm at work on the h i s t o r i a n , and I want f i r s t t o i s o l a t e i t t o emphasize i t s u l t i m a t e importance. The n a r r a t o r i s stymied by two l e t t e r s w r i t t e n by Newton t o John Locke i n 1693 and which he i n c o r p o r a t e s i n t o h i s n a r r a t i v e . In an endnote, B a n v i l l e t e l l s us t h a t the second l e t t e r i s a f i c t i o n , "the tone and some of the t e x t of which i s taken from Hugo von Hofmannsthal's E i n B r i e f ("The L e t t e r of Lord Chandos")" (82). The f i c t i o n a l l e t t e r of Hofmannstahl imagines a correspondence between Lord Chandos and F r a n c i s Bacon, i n which the former laments h i s i n a b i l i t y t o make meaningful sense of r e a l i t y , i n c l u d i n g the inadequacy of language t o mediate e x p e r i e n c e : "My case, i n s h o r t , i s t h i s : I have l o s t completely the a b i l i t y t o t h i n k or t o speak of anything c o h e r e n t l y " (Hofmannstahl 133). T h i s second l e t t e r , i n which B a n v i l l e has h i s Newton p l a y Lord Chandos to Locke's Bacon, i s a l s o the most important m i s s i v e . The f i r s t l e t t e r , a r e a l one, i n d i c a t e s the p a s s i o n a t e and i r r a t i o n a l s i d e of Newton the s c i e n t i s t . B a n v i l l e ' s n a r r a t o r e x p l a i n s these problems, i n i t i a l l y under the f i r s t person g u i s e of an u n p r e t e n t i o u s c a s u a l i n q u i r e r , and then under the t h i r d person g u i s e of an academic h i s t o r i a n : Remember t h a t mad l e t t e r Newton wrote t o John Locke i n September of 1693, a c c u s i n g the p h i l o s o p h e r out of the b l u e of b e i n g immoral, and a Hobbist, and of having t r i e d t o embroil him with women? I p i c t u r e o l d Locke p a c i n g the the great garden at Oates, eyebrows l e a p i n g h i g h e r and h i g h e r as he goggles at these w i l d charges. I wonder i f he f e l t the s p e c i a l pang which I f e e l r e a d i n g the s u b s c r i p t i o n : I am your  most humble and u n f o r t u n a t e servant, I s . Newton. [ n a r r a t o r ' s i t a l i c s ] I t seems t o me t o express b e t t e r than anything t h a t has gone b e f o r e i t Newton's p a i n and anguished b a f f l e m e n t . I compare i t t o the way a few weeks l a t e r he signed, w i t h j u s t the s t a r k surname, another, and a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t , l e t t e r . What happened i n the i n t e r v a l , what knowledge dawned on him? We have s p e c u l a t e d a great d e a l , you [ C l i o ] and I, on h i s nervous c o l l a p s e l a t e i n t h a t summer of ' 9 3 . He was f i f t y , h i s g r e a t e s t work was behind him, the P r i n c i p i a and the g r a v i t y laws, the d i s c o v e r i e s i n o p t i c s . He was g i v i n g h i m s e l f up more and more t o i n t e r p r e t a t i v e study of the B i b l e , and to t h a t darker work i n alchemy which so embarrasses h i s b i o g r a p h e r s ( c f . Popov et a_l) He was a great man now, h i s fame was assured, a l l Europe honoured him. But h i s l i f e as a s c i e n t i s t was over. The p r o c e s s of l a p i d e s c e n c e had begun: the world was t u r n i n g him i n t o a monument to h i m s e l f . He was c o l d , arrogant, l o n e l y . He was s t i l l o b s e s s i v e l y j e a l o u s — h i s h a t r e d of Hooke was t o endure, indeed t o i n t e n s i f y , even beyond the death of h i s o l d adversary. He w a s — Look at me, w r i t i n g h i s t o r y ; o l d h a b i t s d i e hard. (5-6) In t h i s r e f e r e n c e t o a r e a l l e t t e r dated 16 September 1693, Newton accuses Locke of immorality, of Hobbism, and of 198 an attempt to entrap him with women. This missive sets out Newton's c r i t e r i a for the judgement of a l i f e . An es s e n t i a l connection i s evident between the f i r s t l e t t e r ' s contents and the narrator's own existence. According to one of Newton's actual biographers, Frank Manuel (1968), the word "immorality" concerns not sexual r e l a t i o n s , but the greedy seeking of a "place" or "position" (216). The narrator i s also c l e a r l y desirous of reputation and acclaim for his work: "It would be a splendid book, fresh and clean as t h i s bright scene before me . . . . and Cambridge would o f f e r me a big job" (6 ) . To be accused of Hobbism i s to be l a b e l l e d as one who believes ( f a s c i s t — l i k e ? ) that absolute government i s necessary because of the selfishness of human beings w h i c h — l e f t unchecked—can lead to chaos and disorder. Hobbism i s a t o t a l i z i n g concept, an adherence to a monolithic structure or entity, somewhat resembling the power the narrator gives to the muse of history, C l i o or Cliona, to whom he readily confesses. Lastly, i t i s not surp r i s i n g that the narrator finds s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Newton's paranoid feelings concerning "entrapment by Women," since he fornicates with one woman while having adulterous desires for another. In t h i s early section, we sense a superimposition of the narrator's academic l i f e on to that of Newton's. Fern House becomes a kind of Woolsthorpe, a quiet place to add the f i n a l touches to a major tome or report on a discovery. 199 Woolsthorpe Manor i n L i n c o l n s h i r e was Newton's mother's home. I t was here i n the p e r i o d between 1665—67 (during the plague) t h a t Newton i s thought to have made major advances i n c e l e s t i a l dynamics, mathematics and o p t i c s . The n a r r a t o r b e l i e v e s "time i s d i f f e r e n t i n the country" (4) , which s t r i k e s us as an awareness of anomaly, a time away from normal p r a c t i c e . C r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n l o c a t i o n ( I r e l a n d i n s t e a d of England) may e x i s t between the two country r e t r e a t s , but perhaps not i n a b s t r a c t concepts, such as the r e c o g n i t i o n of a g u l f between the knowable and the unknowable. I t seems where Newton and the n a r r a t o r p a r t company i s i n the p e r c e p t i o n of Nature. Newton b e l i e v e d many unanswered que s t i o n s were i n a p p r o p r i a t e or unnecessary because the pure a b s o l u t e s were to be found i n God; the n a r r a t o r , however, appears t o have no f a i t h and i s subsequently at v a r i a n c e with the n a t u r a l world, e x e m p l i f i e d by h i s f e a r of animals, b i r d s , and i n s e c t s and h i s bemusement at the v a r i o u s kinds of t r e e s . Thus he becomes and f e e l s detached, "an i n t e r l o p e r " (5), so much so t h a t even h i s manuscript appears to be severed from him. The second l e t t e r , the f i c t i o n , i s supposed t o have been w r i t t e n a few weeks a f t e r the f i r s t . Our n a r r a t o r informs us t h a t Newton at t h i s p o i n t i n 1693 was f i f t y years o l d , with h i s best work behind him. In r e a l l i f e , as Manuel's biography makes c l e a r , Newton r e l i n q u i s h e d the world of the i n t e l l e c t i n s c i e n c e by g i v i n g up h i s Cambridge p o s i t i o n as l e c t u r e r . There he had a r e p u t a t i o n f o r 200 speaking t o empty h a l l s , so incomprehensible was h i s d i s c o u r s e ; i n f a c t , only two accounts of h i s l e c t u r e s have come down t o us, a s i g n perhaps of h i s r e c o n d i t e n e s s . Newton took up an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o s i t i o n at the Royal Mint, a job of immense r o u t i n e d e a l i n g p r i m a r i l y with everyday matters. H i s t o r i a n s of s c i e n c e b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s c h o i c e was i n t e n t i o n a l , s i n c e Newton r e a l i z e d h i s great c r e a t i v e p e r i o d was over. Newton tu r n e d t o b i b l i c a l study and a l c h e m i c a l p u r s u i t s i n the t w i l i g h t of h i s l i f e . Perhaps B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l l a suggests t h a t t h i s change was d i c t a t e d by an u n w i l l i n g n e s s t o address an anomaly i n Newton's p r e v i o u s t h e o r e t i c a l system. Before d i s c u s s i n g the second l e t t e r d i r e c t l y , i t i s worth remembering t h a t the t i t l e of the n o v e l l a on the s u r f a c e d e s c r i b e s the n a r r a t o r ' s whole e p i s t o l a r y d i s c o u r s e . B a n v i l l e d i d not choose "A" Newton L e t t e r or The Newton " L e t t e r s " . Thus we are l e d to assume t h a t i t i s the second l e t t e r which i s the one at i s s u e . As the n a r r a t o r remarks on t h i s anomalous l e t t e r , he t i e s h i s work and l i f e e x p eriences at Fern House t o g e t h e r : "The l e t t e r seemed t o me now to l i e at the c e n t r e of my work, perhaps of Newton's too, r e f l e c t i n g and c o n t a i n i n g a l l the r e s t , as the image of C h a r l o t t e contained, as i n a convex m i r r o r , the e n t i r e world of F e r n s " (50). The i n t r o d u c t i o n of a comparison with C h a r l o t t e i s s i g n i f i c a n t . She i s as i n s c r u t a b l e as Newton's l e t t e r . She would appear t o be at the core of the f a m i l y drama at Fern House, j u s t as the n a r r a t o r sees the second 201 l e t t e r of Newton's to be at the core of Newton's f l u c t u a t i o n s i n thought. I t i s a l s o s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t Newton i s w r i t i n g t o John Locke, who denied the power of i n n a t e i d e a s and emphasized experience. In t h i s second l e t t e r t o Locke, Newton complains of an i n t e l l e c t u a l impasse. He s t e e r s away from the mere pronouncements of b e l i e f s i n God and i n a m e c h a n i s t i c u n i v e r s e t o t h a t which i s c r e a t i n g doubt i n h i s mind, h i s everyday meetings with tradesmen: They would seem to have something t o t e l l me; not  of t h e i r t r a d e s , nor even of how they conduct  t h e i r l i v e s ; nothing, I b e l i e v e , i n words. They  are, i f you w i l l understand i t , themselves the  t h i n g s they might t e l l . They are a l l a form of  s a y i n g — a n d t h e r e i t breaks o f f , the r e s t of t h a t page i l l e g i b l e (because of a s c o r c h mark perhaps?). A l l t h a t remains i s the b r i e f c l o s e : My dear Doctor, expect no more p h i l o s o p h y from  my pen. The language i n which I might be able  not o nly t o w r i t e but to t h i n k i s n e i t h e r L a t i n  nor E n g l i s h , but a language none of whose words i s  known to me; a language i n which commonplace  t h i n g s speak to me; and wherein I_ may one day have  to j u s t i f y myself b e f o r e an unknown judge. ( n a r r a t o r ' s i t a l i c s , 50—51) ^ Newton b e l i e v e s these tradesmen have a form of knowledge which i s unspeakable and u n t r a n s m i s s i b l e . . I t i s as i f Newton acknowledges the e t e r n a l mystery of human c r e a t i o n , t h a t which l i e s beyond the boundaries and p o t e n t i a l of language. The inadequacy of human language t o e x p l a i n the phenomena of l i f e i s a constant theme throughout B a n v i l l e ' s t e t r a l o g y . Copernicus and K e p l e r c o n s t a n t l y r e v i s e t h e i r w r i t i n g s , a d m i t t i n g at l e a s t t o themselves t h a t 202 e r r o r s have been made. Newton goes on t o say t h a t these i n d i v i d u a l s he meets provoke i n him the thoughts of another language, a s i t e where f u t u r e p h i l o s o p h y would be grounded. I t i s a language of the "commonplace," a y a r d s t i c k he f e e l s he may have t o be judged by. Newton seems t o f e a r the judgement not of God but of h i s f e l l o w man, the tradesmen who are supposedly i n f e r i o r t o h i s i n t e l l e c t . He senses they have a power over him. The b e l i e v e d r e d u c t i o n i s m of h i s s c i e n t i f i c endeavours s t r u c t u r e s the p h i l o s o p h y u n d e r l y i n g the second l e t t e r . I t might be argued t h a t i n the l e t t e r he i s doing no more than a d m i t t i n g b e f o r e h i s peers (Locke) and s u p e r i o r (God) t h a t h i s d i s c o v e r i e s and t h e o r i e s are i n r e a l i t y m i n i s c u l e . T h i s a s s e r t i o n would e x p l a i n the presence of the famous p r e f a c e : "I seem t o have been only as a boy p l a y i n g on the seashore, and d i v e r t i n g myself i n now and then f i n d i n g a smoother pebble or a p r e t t i e r s h e l l than o r d i n a r y , w h i l s t the great ocean of t r u t h l a y a l l undiscovered b e f o r e me" (v). S i m i l a r l y , what i n t e r e s t s B a n v i l l e and the n a r r a t o r are the l i m i t a t i o n s of one i n t e l l e c t t o understand the world. The "secondary" nature of a h i s t o r y , biography or even autobiography/personal memoir—an u n c e r t a i n w r i t e r d e a l i n g w i t h an u n c e r t a i n s u b j e c t — p r o m o t e s the d e b i l i t a t i n g f e e l i n g t h a t e x a c t i t u d e i s i l l u s o r y and t h a t s u b j e c t i v i t y i s the on l y r e a l i t y worth attempting to o b j e c t i f y . 203 In the n a r r a t o r ' s mind, the " s t o r y " of Newton's "madness" i n the autumn of 1693, sparked by the h o r r o r of a f i r e i n h i s room which d e s t r o y e d a number of h i s papers ( i n c l u d i n g a manuscript on o p t i c s ) , i s t o be understood by means of the man's p l e a s u r e i n e n t e r i n g i n t o the minutiae of everyday l i f e . J L i k e B a n v i l l e ' s Kepler, the r e a s s u r i n g elements are ap p a r e n t l y innocuous: "He n o t i c e s d e t a i l s , e a r l y morning l i g h t through a window, h i s r e s c u e r ' s one unshod f o o t and yellow t o e n a i l s , the v e l v e t b l a c k n e s s of burnt paper. He s m i l e s " (23) . The n a r r a t o r ' s c o n t e n t i o n i s t h a t t o Newton the d e s t r u c t i o n of h i s work mattered l i t t l e because the gre a t ocean of t r u t h l a y around him i n t h i s r e a l , observable, though i n e x p l i c a b l e , world. As the n a r r a t o r informs C h a r l o t t e , Newton's ab s o l u t e s of space, time, and motion upon which he based h i s t h e o r i e s had to be r e v i s e d the more he thought about h i s s c i e n c e . The grand design or system, seemingly a b s o l u t e and c l o s e d , became u n n e r v i n g l y r e l a t i v e and open i n tandem with the chaos and d i s o r d e r of the human l i f e around him. T h i s "confused mix" i s s u c c i n c t l y conveyed when the n a r r a t o r marries h i s s c i e n t i f i c speech t o C h a r l o t t e with h i s f e e l i n g s f o r her, d u r i n g the d i n n e r t a b l e chaos when Mr. Prunty attempts t o focus c o n v e r s a t i o n on buying out the Lawlesses' b u s i n e s s . For the f i r s t time, C h a r l o t t e seems t o r e c o g n i z e the n a r r a t o r and h i s work, and the h i s t o r i a n i s eager t o impress, even i f he has t o be p e d a n t i c : 204 "Because he had to have c e r t a i n a b s o l u t e s , " I s a i d , look at me, keep l o o k i n g at me, " c e r t a i n a b s o l u t e s of of of, of space, time, motion," beats, s o f t beats, s o f t h e a r t b e a t s , "can only be r e l a t i v e , f o r us, he knew t h a t , had t o admit i t , had t o l e t them go,and when they went," 0 my d a r l i n g , " e v e r y t h i n g e l s e went with them." Ah! (63) The r e a l i z a t i o n of an u n d i s m i s s i b l e anomaly i n h i s work l e d Newton t o g i v e up s c i e n c e . E q u a l l y , the n a r r a t o r ' s d i f f i c u l t y with h i s w r i t i n g on Newton's breakdown i s i n not r e a l i z i n g at what ju n c t u r e the s c i e n t i s t f a i l e d t o continue s u p p o r t i n g a flawed paradigm, and at what p o i n t he withdrew from c o n s t r u c t i n g a new one. Stephen Hawking, i n A B r i e f  H i s t o r y of Time (1988), has commented d i r e c t l y on the s c i e n t i s t s ' c h o i c e s when fa c e d with the mistakes of p r e v i o u s work: What should you do when you f i n d you have made a mistake l i k e t h a t ? Some people never admit t h a t they are wrong and continue t o f i n d new, and o f t e n mutually i n c o n s i s t e n t , arguments t o support t h e i r c a s e — a s Eddington d i d i n opposing b l a c k h o l e t h e o r y . Others c l a i m t o have never r e a l l y supported the i n c o r r e c t view i n the f i r s t p l a c e or, i f they d i d , i t was only t o show t h a t i t was i n c o n s i s t e n t . I t seems t o me much b e t t e r and l e s s c o n f u s i n g i f you admit i n p r i n t t h a t you were wrong. A good example of t h i s was E i n s t e i n , who c a l l e d the co s m o l o g i c a l constant, which he i n t r o d u c e d when he was t r y i n g t o make a s t a t i c model of the un i v e r s e , the b i g g e s t mistake o f h i s l i f e . (151) Hawking omits the p o s s i b i l i t y of s i l e n c e and Newton's " s o l u t i o n , " of s h i f t i n g t o other p u r s u i t s . The beauty of 205 B a n v i l l e ' s n o v e l l a i s t h a t we see the n a r r a t o r advance (as i f h a v i ng read Hawking) i n t h i s area of c o g n i t i o n t o the p o i n t of b e g i n n i n g to. c o n s t r u c t a new paradigm (concerning Newton), d e s p i t e h i s own r e s i s t a n c e . The l a t t e r i s r o o t e d i n the t r a d i t i o n a l b i o g r a p h e r ' s r e l u c t a n c e t o argue t h a t the man t o whom he has devoted a great d e a l of time and energy had a breakdown and changed occupations p r i m a r i l y because h i s c e l e b r a t e d t h e o r i e s d i d not square e i t h e r with experience or with f u r t h e r r e f l e c t i o n . From the n a r r a t o r ' s account of Newton, i t would appear t h a t the mathematician d e s i r e d a l i f e of a c t i o n , an i n s i g h t gleaned from p e r s o n a l tragedy (madness). I f he p u b l i s h e s h i s biography, the n a r r a t o r would be a s s e r t i n g t h a t Newton d i d l e a d a l i f e of a c t i o n (in a narrow sense) by c a s t i n g out o l d , worn t h e o r i e s . Yet the n a r r a t o r i s unhappy wit h t h i s surmise because of what Newton's l e t t e r s and breakdown suggest and because of h i s own p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s , which appear t o be more r e a l , urgent, and t r u e than h i s p r o f e s s i o n of " o b j e c t i v e " h i s t o r i c a l — s c i e n t i f i c w r i t i n g . The n a r r a t o r would l i k e t o b e l i e v e t h a t he and h i s s u b j e c t have seen the l i g h t and the l i g h t i s the r e a l world of a c t i o n , f e e l i n g s , and so on. T e l l i n g l y , Newton smiles and c r i e s i n the n a r r a t o r ' s account of the burning (Newton i s b e l i e v e d t o have on l y laughed once i n company!). The n a r r a t o r ' s own dose of humanity comes slowly but s u r e l y d u r i n g h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with the i n h a b i t a n t s of Fern House. 206 To underscore t h i s humanitarian emphasis, one must f i r s t c l a r i f y the way the t e x t can send the reader on f a l s e t r a i l s . In the f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n , the f i r s t sentence c o u l d e a s i l y f i t snugly i n any i m a g i n a t i v e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o a gr e a t s c i e n t i s t ' s biography: " S i t t i n g at my t a b l e b e f o r e the window and the s u n l i t l i l a c s , I thought of Canon Koppernigk at Frauenberg, of N i e t z s c h e i n the Engadine, of Newton h i m s e l f , a l l those high c o l d heroes who renounced the world and human happiness to pursue the b i g game of the i n t e l l e c t . A p r e t t y p i c t u r e — b u t h a r d l y a t r u e one" (49—50). I t i s too easy t o b e l i e v e the f i r s t sentence, l i k e most c r i t i c s such t as Outram (1988, 9) and Imhof (1989, 153) have done. Surely, however, i t i s the second sentence t h a t the n a r r a t o r f i n d s nearer the t r u t h . I t suggests a man who d e s i r e d t o i n t e r a c t w ith the world i n the hope of f i n d i n g knowledge of a s o r t t h e r e . By engaging with " a c t u a l i t y , " Newton may hope h i s s p e c u l a t i o n s w i l l be r e l a t e d t o the observable world of everyday l i f e . One of the major f e a t u r e s of The Newton L e t t e r i s the humbling of the i n t e l l e c t u a l i n the face of the n a t u r a l , a r b i t r a r y , t r a g i c , d i s o r g a n i z e d world. Both Copernicus and Ke p l e r f a c e s i m i l a r embarrassments. The n a r r a t o r of the n o v e l l a c l e a r l y l e a r n s from h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s with O t t i l i e and C h a r l o t t e . T h e i r i n f l u e n c e , which serves as the Kuhnian i n t r o d u c t i o n of new conceptual and e m p i r i c a l data, d i s p l a c e s the w r i t i n g of the book on Newton as i n i t a l l y designed; however, the two women seem t o r e v i v e f o r the n a r r a t o r , 207 i r o n i c a l l y enough, t h a t p e r i o d i n 1693 of Newton's breakdown. I t seems the r e s u l t of t h i s i n f l u e n c e i s t h a t the n a r r a t o r can now continue with a g r e a t e r sense of not j u s t h i s m o r t a l i t y but of h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l l i m i t a t i o n s i n g r a s p i n g the world of h i s s u b j e c t . Whenever the n a r r a t o r attempts t o put names t o the e x p e r i e n c e s t h a t he has, he i n e v i t a b l y f a i l s t o g i v e a f a i r account. At base, t h e r e e x i s t s a d e f i n i t e flaw or weakness i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l endeavour of any w r i t e r because he i s attempting t o o b j e c t i f y h i s s u b j e c t i v e f e e l i n g s . No s u r e t y e x i s t s , of course, t h a t these f e e l i n g s and i n s t i n c t s are v a l i d t o other people. The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n t r a c e s the n a r r a t o r ' s l e a r n i n g of h i s l i m i t a t i o n s , and the burgeoning awareness of rampant anomalies. I I . F a i l i n g Systems His f i r s t f a i l u r e i s simply t h a t of h i s book. He has been unable t o d e a l adequately with Newton's p e r i o d of breakdown. I t i s the problem of a b i o g r a p h e r f a c e d with a s u b j e c t who momentarily renounces h i s p h i l o s o p h y . A b i o g r a p h e r c o n s t r u c t s a s u i t a b l e model f o r h i s s u b j e c t ' s i d e a s t o be e x p l a i n e d . "Odd behaviour" by h i s s u b j e c t can o n l y c a s t doubt on the b i ographer's model. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case, B a n v i l l e ' s Newton appears t o renounce h i s p h i l o s o p h y only once, i n the second l e t t e r t o John Locke. Matching h i s w r i t i n g f a i l u r e i s h i s f a i l u r e t o judge events 208 s u r r o unding him. We understand from the end of the n o v e l l a , with i t s i n s c r i p t i o n , "Dublin—Iowa—Dublin Summer 1979—Spring 1981," t h a t the n a r r a t o r i s on h i s way back t o I r e l a n d from h i s American sojourn, from where we assume he has w r i t t e n t h i s l e t t e r t o C l i o . I take t h i s i n s c r i p t i o n t o be the n a r r a t o r ' s and not B a n v i l l e ' s . His account i s a humble one, anxious t o show t h a t i n terms of chronology, remembered of course, he has not a c q u i t t e d h i m s e l f w e l l . A f t e r h i s query whether or not he has " l o s t [his] f a i t h i n the primacy of t e x t ? " [an i r o n i c q u e s t i o n , f o r why then w r i t e a l e t t e r ? ] , which i s i n response t o " r e a l people . . . o b j e c t s , i landscapes even" (1), he remembers h i s f i r s t v i s i t t o Ferns past K i l l i n e y Bay. Such v i s u a l images t h a t he conj u r e s up appear "at once commonplace and unique" (2). These two ap p a r e n t l y o p p o s i t i o n a l n o t i o n s are at the core of h i s v i s i t t o Fern House. The n a r r a t o r of our s t o r y i s f u l l of h u b r i s , arrogance, and misogyny. Fern House, f o r example, i s the k i n d of p l a c e where a "mad stepdaughter" would be l o c k e d up (3) . Even from the very f i r s t meeting with the two women who are to dominate h i s summer break, he assumes, i n c o r r e c t l y , a grea t d e a l . He b e l i e v e s from a d i s t a n c e t h a t C h a r l o t t e i s the younger s i s t e r of O t t i l i e ; i t i s not u n t i l he i s up c l o s e and a f t e r she takes o f f her straw hat t h a t a m i d d l e -aged woman i s r e v e a l e d . T h i s i n i t i a l i n c i d e n t i s a marker t o the reader of the n a r r a t o r ' s p e c u l i a r v i s i o n . He does not see something other; he merely sees them t r u l y : "I had 209 got them n e a r l y r i g h t , but the wrong way round" (3). In other words, the observable world i s p r e s e n t e d but not e x p l a i n e d . Such d i s j u n c t i o n s between p i c t u r e and r e a l i t y d i s r u p t the n a r r a t o r ' s c o n c e n t r a t i o n . He has brought guidebooks t o t r e e s and b i r d s , but he cannot connect t h e i r contents t o r e a l i t y . He begins to f e e l detached from h i s manuscript on Newton, even e n t e r t a i n i n g the n o t i o n t h a t i t had been w r i t t e n "not by someone e l s e , but by another v e r s i o n of myself" ( 5 ) . T h i s awareness of anomaly i s r e i n f o r c e d when i n the f o r e s t he at f i r s t t h i n k s he sees a r a t . "To s m e l l a r a t " i s a s a y i n g t h a t foregrounds a crack i n some e x i s t i n g system. The n a r r a t o r q u a l i f i e s t h i s anomaly awareness by seeming to r e v e r s e the n o t i o n : "I never saw s i g n of a r a t . I t was only the i d e a " ( 8 ) . Put simply, the n a r r a t o r i s s t r u g g l i n g to rescue h i s p r e v i o u s models of Newton so t h a t h i s book can continue t o be a seamless whole. For a while i t seems the n a r r a t o r imagines h i s l i f e at Fern House as a c o u n t e r p a r t to Newton's mother's country r e s i d e n c e , Woolsthorpe. In so many ways, then, i s the h i s t o r i a n a t r a c i n g of the o r i g i n a l (Newton). With t h i s s u p e r i o r a i r , he looks upon Edward, C h a r l o t t e , and O t t i l i e , s e e i n g them as " P r o t e s t a n t s , of course, landed . . . t o me, product of a post—peasant C a t h o l i c u p b r i n g i n g , they appeared p e r f e c t e d c r e a t u r e s " (12—13). Only s l o w l y does the n a r r a t o r l o s e t h i s i l l u s i o n . One i s a l s o i n t r i g u e d why a C a t h o l i c ( a l b e i t lapsed) h i s t o r i a n would devote h i s major work to a P r o t e s t a n t genius, who had been i n v o l v e d i n a n t i — C a t h o l i c 210 p o l i t i c s i n the B r i t i s h p a rliament, a c e r b i c a l l y d e s c r i b e d by Stephen Hawking (181-2). The n a r r a t o r i s entranced by C h a r l o t t e who, u n l i k e him, can name t h i n g s very e x a c t l y ( f o r i t i s her b u s i n e s s ) . He i s m y s t i f i e d by the presence of young M i c h a e l . The young boy f a l l s out of the t r e e (a p r o v e r b i a l apple) and serves as the human anomaly of the Fern House system: "I c o u l d n ' t f i t him t o the Lawlesses" (16). As the h i s t o r i a n reads under an apple t r e e (Newton echo) , he s p i e s Michael perched l i k e an apple among the branches (16). L a t e r , O t t i l i e b r i n g s the " f a l l e n " M i c h a e l t o the w r i t e r ' s lodge. T h i s i n c i d e n t sparks the r e l a t i o n s h i p between O t t i l i e and the n a r r a t o r . Many flaws i n conceptual systems are present, but o f t e n missed by the n a r r a t o r who, f o r example, expects somewhat more than a p l a s t i c t a b l e c l o t h when he i s i n v i t e d up to the House f o r a meal. He had assumed a grandness c o n s i s t e n t with the b u i l d i n g . The B i g House i s l i k e a massive and i m p r e s s i v e t h e o r e t i c a l system i n s i d e of which anomalies and i n c o n g r u i t i e s f l o u r i s h . He observes but does not take i n the s i g n i f i c a n c e of a h u r l e y s t i c k i n the umbrella stand. (One wonders how many P r o t e s t a n t s i n I r e l a n d p l a y hurley?) At t h i s unexpectedly meagre meal he hears, though does not understand the meaning of, Edward's o u t b u r s t : "Well what's wrong with b e i n g o r d i n a r y ? " (18). The n a r r a t o r ' s educated guesses prove t o be only h a l f — t r u t h s . With good reason, he b e l i e v e s t h a t he has been dragged up to the house f o r d i n n e r t o prevent d i s c u s s i o n about Edward's d r i n k i n g . But the 211 other h a l f of h i s new paradigm i s extremely askew: "I saw the whole t h i n g now, of course: he was a waster, C h a r l o t t e kept the p l a c e going, e v e r y t h i n g had been a mistake, even the c h i l d . I t a l l f i t t e d . . . " (19). L a t e r , h i s ruminations are even more f a r — f e t c h e d by s e e i n g Edward as a "fo r t u n e hunter" i n marrying C h a r l o t t e (32). The n a r r a t o r f u r t h e r puts h i s f o o t i n t o i t by t h i n k i n g M i c h a e l i s C h a r l o t t e ' s c h i l d ; i n the embarrassing s i l e n c e t h a t f o l l o w s h i s u t t e r a n c e he then e r r o n e o u s l y assumes M i c h a e l i s O t t i l i e ' s c h i l d . Such a f e b r i l e i m a g i n a t i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t with the r o l e of an h i s t o r i a n who seeks t o p e r c e i v e e x t r a o r d i n a r y events t o make h i s n a r r a t i v e c o m p e l l i n g t o any reader. Perhaps the " i n s i s t e n t enigma of other p e ople" (19) i s p a r t l y c r e a t e d and p a r t l y found. O t t i l i e a c t u a l l y suggests the problem t h a t i s b e s e t t i n g Edward and C h a r l o t t e , but the n a r r a t o r i s a bad l i s t e n e r . She asks him i f he had ever taken drugs, such as the ones they g i v e people dying of cancer (29). The n a r r a t o r does not p i c k up on t h i s nuance. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s Edward who t r i e s t o g i v e him good a d v i c e : " I t goes t o show, you should l i s t e n t o people, eh?" (34). The n a r r a t o r , however, seems unable t o shake o f f h i s p r e j u d i c e s . When Edward's s i s t e r Bunny a r r i v e s , he expects her to be the "West B r i t , " but q u i t e the r e v e r s e i s t r u e : i n s t e a d of u t t e r i n g laments at the deaths of Mountbatten and eight e e n p a r a t r o o p e r s , she wants t o name a s t r e e t a f t e r the date t o c e l e b r a t e the s l a u g h t e r . 212 The n a r r a t o r i s u n c e a s i n g l y p a t r o n i z i n g toward O t t i l i e , s e e i n g h i m s e l f as "one of those t r a g i c gentlemen i n o l d n o v e l s who s o l a c e themselves with a s h o p g i r l , or a l i t t l e a c t r e s s , a s o r t of semi—animate d o l l with c h i l d l i k e ways and no name, a p a r t f o r which my b i g blonde g i r l was h a r d l y f i t t e d " (43) . Only when she approaches him and s e x u a l a c t i v i t y r e s u l t s does he begin to dispense with these doubts and censures. Another attempt at c o g n i t i o n i s the b e l i e f t h a t he i s i n love with C h a r l o t t e . He i s t r o u b l e d t h a t as a w r i t e r he can yet f i n d no words which are adequate t o d e s c r i b e her. The f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n reminds us of the second l e t t e r t o John Locke. The n a r r a t o r seems t o be r e — e n a c t i n g u n c o n s c i o u s l y Newton's d i f f i c u l t i e s : When I search f o r the words to d e s c r i b e her I can't f i n d them. Such words don't e x i s t . They would need to be no more than forms of i n t e n t , balanced on the b r i n k of saying, another v e r s i o n of s i l e n c e . Every mention I make of her i s a f a i l u r e . Even when I say j u s t her name i t sounds l i k e an exaggeration. When I w r i t e i t down i t seems i m p o s s i b l y swollen, as i f my pen had s l i p p e d e i g h t or nine redundant l e t t e r s i n t o i t . Her p h y s i c a l presence i t s e l f seemed overdone, a clumsy r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the e s s e n t i a l she. That essence was only to be glimpsed o b l i q u e l y , on the outer edge of v i s i o n , an image always t h e r e and always f l e e t i n g , l i k e the a f t e r g l o w of a b r i g h t l i g h t on the r e t i n a . (44) L i k e the nature of the Newtonian u n i v e r s e i t s e l f , h i s e s t i m a t i o n or p i c t u r e of her r e l i e s on a f a i r degree of i m a g i n a t i o n and f a b r i c a t i o n , a c o n s c i o u s l y f a l s e f i c t i o n ; i t i s , i n t r u t h , a very immature u n r e q u i t e d l o v e . 213 C o n s t a n t l y , he misunderstands C h a r l o t t e ; her blankness (induced by drugs) c r e a t e s i n her c o n v e r s a t i o n many longeurs and d i s c o n n e c t e d speeches. The n a r r a t o r seems unable t o d i s c e r n what i s the matter with h i s would—be l o v e . T h i s f a i l u r e i s c l e a r when they d r i v e to the town t o g e t h e r and stop suddenly. He t h i n k s t h i s i s the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a move (sexual perhaps) on h i s p a r t , but a s i x t h sense prevents him from doing so, and he i s o b l i v i o u s t o the important statement, "Edward i s not w e l l " (46). He can not see beyond h i s i n f a t u a t i o n . He even merges the two women i n h i s mind i n t o a portmanteau word: " C h a r l o t t i l i e ! " (48). By b r i n g i n g two u n l i k e concepts together, he hopes t o c r e a t e a K o e s t l e r i a n s y n t h e s i s . The c l o s e r he examines h i s f e e l i n g of anomaly, the more complex i t appears, although he does b e l i e v e i t i s a c o r o l l a r y t o " t h i s summer as a s e l f c o n t a i n e d u n i t separate from the time of the o r d i n a r y world" (49). One anomaly breeds another. With even more h u b r i s , he assumes a number 1 of t h i n g s about O t t i l i e , whom he t h i n k s he sees more c l e a r l y than ever b e f o r e : "Receding from me, she took on the h i g h d e f i n i t i o n of a f i g u r e seen through the wrong end of a t e l e s c o p e , f i x e d , t i n y , complete i n every d e t a i l " (53). I r o n i c a l l y , he i s on t o something here. He r e p e a t e d l y looks through the wrong end of the t e l e s c o p e i n judging c h a r a c t e r or c o o r d i n a t e s i n a system. For example, he assumes t h a t the c h i l d M i c h a e l i s O t t i l i e ' s , born when she was around s i x t e e n : "That she was the mother I never doubted" (54). At 214 M i c h a e l ' s b i r t h d a y p a r t y , he begins to t h i n k t h a t Edward i s the f a t h e r of O t t i l i e ' s c h i l d (two assumptions h e r e ) . He does l e a r n t h a t the f a m i l y are i n f a c t C a t h o l i c s , not P r o t e s t a n t s , and as he says, but does not n e c e s s a r i l y heed, "My e n t i r e c o n c e p t i o n of them had to be r e v i s e d " (54). The g u l l i b l e n a r r a t o r i s l e d a s t r a y by O t t i l i e i n the way she b r i n g s him i n t o C h a r l o t t e ' s bedroom t o make l o v e , m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t i t i s her own. He overlooks the anomalous f a c t t h a t he sees a b l a c k h a i r on the p i l l o w , " l i k e a t i n y crack i n the enamel" (55). Once t r i c k e d and t o l d of the t r u e s t a t e of a f f a i r s , he l o s e s h i s temper, f o r c i n g O t t i l i e t o u t t e r a p e r c e p t i v e comment: "You t h i n k you're so c l e v e r , but you don't know a t h i n g " (57). He r e f u s e s t o b e l i e v e O t t i l i e ' s s t o r y t h a t Michael i s not her c h i l d but one adopted by C h a r l o t t e , who c o u l d not have any c h i l d r e n h e r s e l f . T h i s o b s t i n a c y r e v e a l s a man who t r e a s u r e s h i s paradigms of understanding. He a l s o f a i l s t o see the depth of f e e l i n g O t t i l i e has f o r him. When i t does dawn upon him, he i s aghast and s u r p r i s e d (67). I t i s not u n t i l Edward's bout of d r i n k i n g and the Doctor's s u g g e s t i v e comments t h a t the n a r r a t o r can f i n d the r i g h t q u e s t i o n s . Even then, he has t o weed i t out of O t t i l i e : "Valium, Seconal . . . . S i x months she's been on i t . She's l i k e a z o m b i e — d i d n ' t you n o t i c e ? " (75) O t t i l i e sees t h a t the w r i t e r has not understood C h a r l o t t e , Edward, or her. Meeting Mr. Prunty on the t r a i n , he seems to l i e when he admits t h a t he knew, as Mr Prunty puts i t , t h a t Edward "has i t i n the gut" (77). 215 By way of c o n c l u s i o n , I wish t o s t r e s s t h a t what The  Newton L e t t e r o f f e r s the reader i s an ingenious e x p