Tuesday, March 15, 2011
A few days ago, Boing Boing ran a piece about a great graphic depiction of the history of Science Fiction by artist Ward Shelley (Hat tip: Boing Boing via Lee Hamilton). The history is symbolically presented as a series of interconnected organs, as in a medical diagram of a body. The section above is the one that interests me the most, and is relevant for understanding the origins of ideas that are floating around at our turn of the Millennium. I sense that the great conflict between Rationalism and Anti-Rationalism, embodied respectively in the Enlightenment (as in: Science) and in Romanticism (as in: Fiction) is now reaching a point where the two have reconverged almost completely. After two hundred years of wars, revolutions, genocides, as well as political, social, industrial and technological revolutions, the West's Yin and Yang are combining to form a mashed-up shade of gray. Truth has become fiction and fiction has become truth. Reality has become unreal and vice versa. Shelley's whole image is below the jump; you can click on it to see it close up.