A group of researchers at Harvard are on a quest to crack the puzzle of the human genome and build a full map, or connectome, of the brain. Austin Allen wonders in his article “Will Neuroscience Kill the Novel?” if knowing our brains so well will change our literature, or for that matter, all the arts? Does a glut of the literal “sharpen our appetite for the metaphorical?” or will it be a cultural shift from which there’s no turning back?
Read the article and decide for yourself, but I’m with Allen when he says “the day the brain in fully mapped, writers will find a way to turn it into a foreign country.” LIKE.
This discussion reminds me of Ian McEwan’s take on technology killing the novel. He says that there’s something in us that “…needs to examine the fine print of human behavior and human relationships.” Seems to me neither technology nor neuroscience can replace that need. Ever.