The great post‐Newtonian revolution in physical science culminated with Einstein’s general theory of relativity in the second decade of our century, and with the establishment of the quantum theory in the third decade. The responses of literature over the past half century to these changes in world view have served as stimulating examples of cultural interchange. The novels of Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, Robert Coover, Joseph McElroy, Don DeLillo, and Robert Pirsig make use of the new physics as metaphor for three traditional activities of novelists: examining order and disorder, questioning cause and effect, and seeking unity in the human and physical universes.

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