Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halucinatory Realism and the Nobel Prize in Literature

How does the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature relate to science?  The phrase "hallucinatory realism" caught my imagination when I read the announcement of the award to Chinese-born Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary."  Hallucinations stem from disturbances in the brain, and that's neuroscience, my friend.  Or do these experiences fall in the realm of religion, psychology or philosophy? Literature, for sure, and historical documents abound with references to hallucination and illusion. Do a subject search on "hallucinations and illusions" in OBIS, and books in a wide range of disciplines, from many different decades, are listed - from scientific to the bizarre, and everything in between. Perfect for a liberal arts collection.  A recent book from Oxford University gives the more scientific overview: Perception, hallucination, and illusion / William Fish. The library's print copy is checked out, but OhioLINK users can access this online.

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