William Paulson

William Paulson nsIn hmolscience, William R. Paulson (1955-) is an American literature theorist noted, in literature thermodynamics, for 1998 analysis of two cultures stylized thermodynamics books in literature.

In 1988, Paulson, in his The Noise of Culture: Literary Texts in a World of Information, used a mix of thermodynamics and information theory to analyze information and noise in themes of various novels and stories. [1] Paulson begins by citing English physicist C.P. Snow’s famous 1959 lecture on division of “the two cultures”, divided between those who have an understanding of the second law and those who have read a work of Shakespeare, as a motif for his following chapters, and goes on to discuss topics such as the second law, negentropy, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, closed systems, among others, in relation to information theory. Paulson comments, for instance, on French philosopher Michel Serres' use of thermodynamics and information theory in his 1980 Le Parasite, a work which uses fable to explore how human relations are identical to that of the parasite to the host body.

Paulson’s book, in human thermodynamics education, of note, is used as reference material for an English 4342.001 course called "Literary and Narrative Theory", taught by American literature thermodynamicist Bruce Clarke at Texas Tech University. [2]

Paulson completed his undergraduate work Rockford College. He received his MA and PhD (1981) from Princeton University.

1. Paulson, William R. (1988). The Noise of Culture: Literary Texts in a World of Information (keyword: “thermodynamics”, pgs. 4, 29, 37, 40-47, 57-58, 66, 93, 104-05; ch. 3: Self-Organizing Systems: Information and Noise, pgs. 53-100). Cornell University Press.
2. (a) Clark, Bruce. (2009). “Two Kinds of Entropy (class discussion material)”, Texas Tech University.
(b) English 4342.001, Spring 2009 – Literary and Narrative Theory, Texas Tech University.
3. (a) ibid, Paulson (1988), Serres (pg. 37).
(b) Serres, Michel. (2007). The Parasite (overview). (English translator: Lawrence R. Schehr, with Introduction by Cary Wolfe). University of Minnesota Press.

External links

Paulson, William R. (bibliography) – ISBNdb.com.
William Paulson (faculty) – University of Michigan.

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