"P. B. Shelley and the Force and Science of Matter and Love" A talk by Richard Sha, Professor of Literature at the American University, Washington DC
Shelley understood matter not in terms of extension and permanence, but instead in terms of dynamic force. Since matter was about change, the poet had to think about how human change is different from the changes within matter. Shelley likewise understood love as an attractive force in the world, present despite the fact that Prometheus is initially blind to its existence. Thinking about matter and love as forces in the world shapes his idealism and skepticism in ways that criticism is only beginning to notice.
A specialist in the relations between literature and science, Richard C. Sha is the author of many articles published across a range of leading journals. He is currently working on a book about how scientists understood the imagination during the Romantic period.
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