Chapter

Two cultures: <i>Babel Tower</i> and <i>A Whistling Woman</i>

Alexa Alfer and Amy J. Edwards de Campos

in A.S. Byatt

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780719066528
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701751 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719066528.003.0004
Two cultures: Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman

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This chapter examines the formal and thematic (dis)continuities between the earlier and later Quartet novels. It studies the prism of Byatt's involvement with modern notions of the breakdown and fragmentation of language in Babel Tower and her fictional considerations of the narratives of science in A Whistling Woman. This chapter determines that her later fictions usually study the conceptual pitfalls and possibilities of ways of world-making across the ‘Two Cultures’ divide.

Keywords: (dis)continuities; Quartet novels; fragmentation of language; fictional considerations; narratives of science; world-making; Two Cultures divide

Chapter.  11744 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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