Books: Antidotes the Flamingo's Smile

by Stephen Jay Gould Norton; 476 pages; $17.95

When Physicist C.P. Snow and Literary Critic F.R. Leavis squared off in their two-cultures debate some 25 years ago, it was already apparent that science was reshaping language and that humanism was trying to give itself laboratory airs. Leftists hardwired literature to Marx's social engineering, psychoanalysis cut the classics to fit the couch, and professors of English gave their essays titles like "The Entropy of the Imagination." Today words like process, systems, positive and negative are plugged into common discourse like so many microchips. The result can be toxic to the imagination and mother tongue.

The essays of Stephen Jay Gould...

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