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HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 2000 > Article Detail

MARGINALIA

Narrative

Roald Hoffmann

Narrative

I think the answer is simple (I'm smiling). We construct with ease an aesthetic of the complicated, by adumbrating reasons and causes. We do so by structuring a narrative to make up for the lack of simplicity. And then we delight in the telling of the story. Nearly every seminar I go to brings evidence of this joy of story telling.

I suggest that narrative becomes the substitute for soaring simplicity in the operative aesthetic structures of chemists, and I think it's the same even for the most hard-core reductionist physicist. Continuing the story is the motive force for experimentation and the weaving of theories.





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