state of wonder definition

We were wondering where you were. The titles of the most popular sf magazines of that period—Astounding, Amazing, Wonder Stories, Thrilling, Startling, etc.—clearly indicate that the putative cognitive value of sf stories is more than counter-balanced by an affective power, to which, in fact, the scientific content is expected to submit. Readers’ questions about State of Wonder. In the introductory section of his essay 'On the Grotesque in Science Fiction', Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., Professor of English, DePauw University, states: The so-called sense of wonder has been considered one of the primary attributes of sf at least since the pulp era. Imagination Discovers Technology makes a similar point: The affinities of science fiction and Gothic literature also reveal a common quest for those varieties of pleasing terror induced by awe-inspiring events or settings that Edmund Burke and other eighteenth-century critics call the sublime. The Wonder Woman film currently in theaters — written by comic writer Allan Heinberg with a story by Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs, and Heinberg — seems to conflate multiple takes on her origin. Nevertheless, despite this "resistance to critical commentary," the 'sense of wonder' has "a well-established pedigree in art, separated into two related categories of response: the expansive sublime and the intensive grotesque. Book Review: 'State Of Wonder' A new novel from Ann Patchett, called State of Wonder, is set in the Amazon jungle where a drug has … It must come from within, and when it does, all the wonders of the universe are within reach." Despite the attempts above to define and illustrate the 'sense of wonder' in SF, Csicsery-Ronay Jr. argues that "unlike most of the other qualities regularly associated with the genre, the sense of wonder resists critical commentary. Chuck didn't reply, so George swung round in his saddle. This distinction is true to their difference. Vol. [19]:327, As a concept especially connected with science fiction, Examples of the 'casual' use of the term in science fiction criticism. "[3]:79 He gives as an example the android (T-1000) in the second 'Terminator' film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, saying that "the T-1000, like so many liminal figures in sf, is almost simultaneously sublime and grotesque. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021. This entry focuses on one specific use of the phrase "sense of wonder." ), Ashley, Mike. Dr Marina Singh journeys into the depths of the Amazon rain forest in search of her former mentor, who has vanished while conducting research into the prolonged fertility of the women of an isolated Amazonian tribe. 'State of Wonder' is an imaginative tale of mystery, morals, ethics, and the delicate balance that can exist within the world, both within a single ecosystem and within ourselves. Her book is a "thought-provoking work of criticism that provides a new and interesting perspective on some basic elements in science fiction," including the 'sense of wonder'. Edward James, in a section of his book entitled 'The Sense of Wonder' says on this point of the origin of the 'sense of wonder' in SF: That the concept of the Sublime, a major aesthetic criterion of the Romantic era, has a close connection with the pleasures derived from reading sf has long been recognized by readers and critics, even if that word has seldom been used. [ C ] She’s a wonder! He explains: A computer is installed by Western technicians in a Tibetan lamasery; its task is in to speed up the compilation of all the possible names of God. This twentieth-century ideology has, for Ben-Tov, disturbing implications, especially from a feminist standpoint. 7/8; page. "[3]:71 The reason he suggests is that, A "literature of ideas," as sf is often said to be, invites discussion of ideas; but the sense of wonder seems doubly to resist intellectual investigation. Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., Istvan. These discussion questions allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the overarching plot, characters, and scenes in Ann Patchett's novel, State of Wonder. The phrase that has been used, and which to a large extent corresponds, is 'Sense of Wonder' (sometimes jocularly or cynically abbreviated to 'sensawunda'). . View the pronunciation for wonder. Tom Easton. A sense of wonder (sometimes jokingly written sensawunda) is an intellectual and emotional state frequently invoked in discussions of science fiction and philosophy. At a time when I was just discovering real science fiction, and first reading the works of Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke, this book evoked for me exactly the same " sense of wonder" as did the works of that great trinity." Analog Science Fiction & Fact. 'Introduction' in David Seed (ed. Meaning of wonder. 'An Interview with Jack Williamson' in, Dalgleish, David. It is appropriate that Edward James chooses a story by Arthur C. Clarke to make the point. 125, Iss. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Another word for wonder. 121, Iss. But in SF as Ben-Tov sees it, this natural transcendence is merely an illusion; in fact, the transcendent is only achieved through technology, achieved by alienating feminine Nature. [ U ] If you didn’t study, no wonder … Change your default dictionary to American English. [12]:1, Kathryn Cramer in her essay 'On Science and Science Fiction' also explores the relationship of SF's 'sense of wonder' to religion, stating that "the primacy of the sense of wonder in science fiction poses a direct challenge to religion: Does the wonder of science and the natural world as experienced through science fiction replace religious awe?” Other times, the observations take the form of details about people or the lives we live: overlooked realities that ring true as they float across the page before us." The American mythological apparatus must be comprehended thoroughly to be handled, or dismantled, effectively" (92–93). 133, "The best writers observe things. Sometimes they are grand visions that instill the sense of wonder about which science fiction fans wax lyrical. The following relates to the use of "sense of wonder" within the context of science fiction. ", David E. Nye brings a keen eye to the history of technology in the United States. Send us feedback. [15] For example, SF author and critic David Langford reviewing an SF novel in the New York Review of Science Fiction was able to write "I suppose it's all a frightfully mordant microcosm of human aspirations, but after so much primitive carnage, the expected multiversal sense-of-wonder jolt comes as a belated infodump rather than ..."[16]:8, Jack Williamson in 1991 said that the New Wave did not last in science fiction because it "failed to move people. 'Look,' whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. One way that State of Wonder can be read is as a novel about the ways we imagine exotic places and the people who live there in order to reimagine our own lives. However, as Brooks Landon shows, not all 'sense of wonder' needs to be so closely related to the classical sense of the Sublime. Sometimes these are details about the universe. Analog Science Fiction & Fact. [1]:179, Jon Radoff has characterised a sense of wonder as an emotional reaction to the reader suddenly confronting, understanding, or seeing a concept new in the context of new information.[2]. Seed, David. English Language Learners Definition of wonder (Entry 2 of 2), See the full definition for wonder in the English Language Learners Dictionary, Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wonder, Nglish: Translation of wonder for Spanish Speakers, Britannica English: Translation of wonder for Arabic Speakers. ... "I wonder whether this was the right thing to do" "she wondered whether it would snow tonight" ... a state in which you want to learn more about something. 6; pg. ...—people in droves came to the books looking for adventure and got it, but with an edge of scientific inquiry that left them with a new, very different sense of wonder. "Our society," writes Ben-Tov, "lost the basis for transcendent experience by losing the relationship with numinous nature"(23). The magic of the realms of fantasy had been superseded by the fascination of speculation rooted in reality.[5]:10. It was due about now.'. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us … 2 : to … I may well use his latest ... too. In both cases, the reader/perceiver is shocked by a sudden estrangement from habitual perception, and in both cases the response is to suspend one's confidence in knowledge about the world, and to attempt to redefine the real in thought's relation to nature. wonder definition: 1. to ask yourself questions or express a wish to know about something: 2. used in phrases, at the…. New York: Jan/Feb 2010. verb (when tr, may take a clause as object) (when intr, often foll by about) to indulge in speculative inquiry, often accompanied by an element of doubt (concerning something)I wondered about … Both are concerned with the states of mind that science and art have in common: acute responsiveness to the objects of the world, the testing (often involuntary) of the categories conventionally used to interpret the world, and the desire to articulate what consciousness finds inarticulable. New York: Dec 1998. Jeffrey D Kooistra. There was nothing in Minnesota to give her cause to return. What made you want to look up wonder? Something that produces wonder; a marvel. The emotion aroused by something awe-inspiring, astounding, or surprising: gazed with wonder at the northern lights. Definition of wonder (Entry 2 of 4) intransitive verb. Learn more. [13] :28. ... writers sought new forms that could better accommodate the impact of science. Jill I would hope she would return to the jungle, leave her job in Minnesota. 130, Iss. Marina is both an MD and a PhD. State of Wonder Ann Patchett, 2011 HarperCollins 368 pp. 122, Iss. This response was the blend of awe and terror and wonder that had long been called "the sublime." State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss, a tale that leads into the very heart of darkness and then shows us what lies on the other side. . There are many threads to pay attention to in State of Wonder - the complex relationships of the characters, the scientific mystery, the growing ethical questions - but even the Amazonian jungle becomes a character in its own right. Analog Science Fiction & Fact. Asimov, Isaac. A looming problem for writers in the nineteenth century was how to achieve sublimity without recourse to the supernatural. ... what this reader (at the age of 13 or 14) learned from the story was the unimaginable size of the universe and the implausibility of some of the traditional human images of God. a feeling of great surprise and admiration, or someone or something that causes such feelings: [ U ] People simply stared at her in wonder. 136, "The sense of wonder that marks the SF sensibility is hard to teach and certainly cannot be dictated or overlain on a soul that lacks it. Perhaps the single most famous example of "sensawunda" in all of science fiction involves a neologism, from the work of A. E. van Vogt (Moskowitz 1974): The word "sevagram" appears only once in the series, as the very last word of 'The Weapon Makers'; in its placing, which seems to open universes to the reader's gaze, and in its resonant mysteriousness, for its precise meaning is unclear, this use of "sevagram" may well stand as the best working demonstration in the whole genre sf of how to impart a sense of wonder.[14]:1269. I'm not sure if this failure was due to its pessimistic themes or to people feeling the stuff was too pretentious. (There is always a last time for everything.). The book was published by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and by Harper in the United States. The technicians do their job, with some condescension, and flee back to civilization. Sense of wonder oozes from the pages as the crew steps onto the Martian surface." New York: Jun 2005. Tom Easton. Delivered to your inbox! To say that science fiction is in essence a religious literature is an overstatement, but one that contains truth. 1. the feeling aroused by something strange and surprising 2. something that causes feelings of wonder 3. a state in which you want to learn more about something Familiarity information: WONDER used as a noun is uncommon. Included are brief discussions of mathematical and other scientific problems that evoke a kind of old-fashioned sense of wonder about the universe without disrupting the flow of the story. 13 questions answered. Vol. Vol. As a "sense," it is clearly not about ideas and indeed seems in opposition to them; wonder even more so, with its implications of awe that short-circuits analytic thought.[3]:71. But it never really grabbed hold of people's imaginations".[17]. To be no wonder was in … Vol. The sublime expands consciousness inward as it encompasses limits to its outward expansion of apprehension; the grotesque is a projection of fascinated repulsion/attraction out into objects that consciousness cannot accommodate, because the object disturbs the sense of rational, natural categorization. Numinous is defined in this encyclopedia as that which arouses "spiritual or religious emotion" or is "mysterious or awe-inspiring". This phrase is widely used in contexts that have nothing to do with science fiction. Top definition is 'have a wish or desire to know something'. ... An American crew perished further south, leaving an empty base ... and return vehicle, the Dulcinea. 135, "I first read Thrust Into Space by Maxwell W. Hunter II 30 years ago when I was around 11 or 12. Tests swiftly verified that WAM's taxidermied platypuses did indeed glow, which made Kenny Travouillon, the museum's curator of mammalogy, The current messaging of vaccine importance may seem tone-deaf to those in a community who, The collaboration feels wholly natural and makes listeners, For the flip side of the equation, the Spurs only need to look to the chaos on the opposite bench at Toyota Center tonight — and, Post the Definition of wonder to Facebook, Share the Definition of wonder on Twitter, used to ask a question or make a polite request. ", "The backstory. b. 12; pg. I used his American Technological Sublime in classes for years. In the jungle she…more I would hope she would return to the jungle, leave her job in Minnesota. Fellow fans were rare, and we found one another with feelings of instant kinship. The basic plot of "State of Wonder": In the first sentence we learn that Dr. Anders Eckman is dead. Its fascinating shape-shifting would be the object of sublime awe were it not for its sadistic violation of mundane flesh[3]:76, There is no doubt that the term 'sense of wonder' is used and understood by readers of SF without the need of explanation or elaboration. Definition of wonder in the dictionary. Academic criticism of science fiction literature (Robu 1988) identifies the idea of the sublime described by Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant—infinity, immensity, "delightful horror"—as a key to understanding the concept of "sense of wonder" in science fiction. The quality that arouses such emotion: "Her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face" (James Joyce). 'Introduction: On Science and Science Fiction,' in David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (eds. The grotesque, on the other hand, is a quality usually attributed to objects, the strange conflation of disparate elements not found in nature. See more. 'Forward 1 – The Second Revolution' in Ellison, Harlan (ed.). 1/2; page. 'On the Grotesque in Science Fiction'. Vol. and it can require entire novels to set up (as in the final line to Iain Banks's Feersum Endjinn.). The supernatural marvels that had been a staple of epic and lesser forms from Homeric times would no longer do as the best sources of sublimity. Word forms: wonders, wondering, wondered 1. transitive verb/intransitive verb If you wonder about something, you think about it, either because it interests you and you want to know more about it, or because you are worried or suspicious about it. Marina is both an MD and a PhD. 118, Iss. In many cases, it is achieved through the recasting of previous narrative experiences in a larger context. Introduction to 'Out of the Sun' in Ashley, Mike (ed.). Cramer, Kathryn. It is the story of pharmacologist Marina Singh, who journeys to Brazil to bring back information about seemingly miraculous drug research being conducted there by her former teacher, Dr. Annick Swenson. “Wonder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). ", This page was last edited on 12 October 2020, at 19:56. [3]:71, John Clute and Peter Nicholls associate the experience with that of the "conceptual breakthrough" or "paradigm shift" (Clute & Nicholls 1993). Miller’s book is, among other things, a compendium of expressions of, By the end, the book leaves readers with a new sense of, Her sparkle, and her smile, and her eyes were always full of, Kit Kemp — the British designer and hotelier who created the dishware Bergdorf Goodman uses for its elegant afternoon tea service — is bringing a whimsical world of, Fierer thinks the new assessment will also awaken a sense of, During times of global trouble, the obelisk is a reminder the world is still full of, As 2021 approaches, our critics examine the film industry in crisis, and. [19]:327 In his review of Ben-Tov's work for the SF critical journal Extrapolation David Dalgleish, quoting from the text, points out that, Ben-Tov asserts that SF's (in)famous "sense of wonder" is an attempt to evoke a sublime transcendence, achieved through Nature, and "Nature is an animate, feminine, and numinous being" (23). It made us the unhonored prophets of a new faith, lonely pioneers in a world of critical unbelievers bewildered by the term "science fiction. " Analog Science Fiction & Fact. Edward James quotes from Aldiss and Wingrove's history of science fiction in support of the above suggestion as to the origin of the 'sense of wonder' in SF, as follows: In the Gothic mode, emphasis was placed on the distant and unearthly ... Brooding landscapes, isolated castles, dismal old towns, and mysterious figures ... carry us into an entranced world from which horrid revelations start .... Terror, mystery and that delightful horror which Burke connected with the sublime ... may be discovered ... in science fiction to this day.[8]:103. Anders had traveled deep into the Amazon at the behest of his employer, a Minneapolis-based pharmaceutical company that has a researcher working at a secret site on a secret drug that will revolutionize the world. They feel the loss of a "sense of wonder" because what was once truly confined to "wonder" has now become prosaic and mundane.[4]:ix. wondered; wondering \ ˈwən- d (ə- )riŋ. It's almost impossible to read any of his stories or novels without experiencing that trigger-moment when the mind expands to take in an awe-inspiring concept. Paul K. Alkon in his book Science Fiction before 1900. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! The thesis of the earlier book was—in extreme brief—that in America technological wonders—from railroads to the nuclear bomb—evoked the same emotional response as natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon. In most cases, wonder would be sufficient.However, one might consider using wonderment if wonder’s alternative meanings might result in a clarity issue. It can be found in short scenes (e.g., in Star Wars (1977), it can be found, in a small dose, inside the line "That's no moon; it's a space station.") The very first collection of sf criticism was Damon Knight's In Search of Wonder (1956).[10]:105. State of Wonder tells the story of Marina Singh, a forty-two-year-old woman who works for a pharmaceutical company called Vogel. Commenting on the story 'Twilight' by John W. Campbell he says: ... Campbell stresses how long seven million years is in human terms but notes that this time span is nothing in the life of the sun, whose "two thousand thousand thousand" risings ... As Campbell well knew, one sure path to a sense of wonder was big numbers."[7]:26–27. What does wonder mean? Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice. 1: an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime stood in awe of the king regard nature's wonders with awe George Mann suggests that this 'sense of wonder' is associated only with science fiction as distinct from science fantasy, stating: It is this insistence on fundamental realism that has caused Verne's novels to be retrospectively seen as of key importance in the development of SF. Analog Science Fiction & Fact. 1 a : to be in a state of wonder. New York: Jul/Aug 2002. Just as Bel Canto 's siege unstitches the old parameters – time, language, class – that govern the characters' lives, so the jungle in State of … verb. For example, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, Brooks Landon says: Reference to this "sense of wonder", a term appropriated and popularized by Damon Knight, appear over and over in twentieth-century discussions of SF and may at least in part reflect SF's debt to its Gothic and Romantic forerunners.[7]:18. However, the editor and critic David Hartwell sees SF's 'sense of wonder' in more general terms, as ”being at the root of the excitement of science fiction". "[3]:71 Csicsery-Ronay Jr. explains the difference between these two categories as follows:: The sublime is a response to an imaginative shock, the complex recoil and recuperation of consciousness coping with objects too great to be encompassed. Tales of miracles, tales of great powers and consequences beyond the experience of people in your neighborhood, tales of the gods who inhabit other worlds and sometimes descend to visit ours, tales of humans traveling to the abode of the gods, tales of the uncanny: all exist now as science fiction. State of Wonder revisits the South American locale and even features a key scene that takes place in the Manaus Opera House deep in the Amazonian rain forest of Brazil. The SF ideology that Ben-Tov examines is rooted in the scientific revolution, in the changing view of nature—from living, feminine Mother, Nature becomes inert, dead matter. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? He could just see Chuck's face, a white oval toward the sky. As an example James takes the short story 'The Nine Billion Names of God' by Arthur C. Clarke. Definition and synonyms of wonder from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. One critic is of the opinion that Clarke "has dedicated his career to evoking a "sense of wonder" at the sublime spaces of the universe ..."[11]:5 Editor and SF researcher Mike Ashley agrees: If there is one writer whose work epitomizes that sense of wonder, it is without doubt, Arthur C. Clarke. He continues: Any child who has looked up at the stars at night and thought about how far away they are, how there is no end or outer edge to this place, this universe—any child who has felt the thrill of fear and excitement at such thoughts stands a very good chance of becoming a science fiction reader. Two previous Mars expeditions have failed. Marina Singh is sent into the isolated regions of the Rio Negro to investigate the death of one colleague and meet up with her … Information and translations of wonder in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. This, the monks believe, is what the human race was created for, and on its completion the earth, and perhaps all creation, will come to an end. The word thus occurs particularly in the plural, in such phrases as " doleful dumps." Deep within, whether they admit it or not, is a feeling of disappointment and even outrage that the outer world has invaded their private domain. A sense of wonder (sometimes jokingly written sensawunda) is an intellectual and emotional state frequently invoked in discussions of science fiction and philosophy. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wonder.' Richard A Lovett. [9]:2, Alkon concludes that "science fiction ever since [the 19th century] has been concerned as often to elicit strong emotional responses as to maintain a rational basis for its plots. State of Wonder is a 2011 novel by American author Ann Patchett. Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way. There was nothing in Minnesota to give her cause to return. 1; page. An almost religious sense of awe (or wonder) was created in me, as I tried to perceive the immensity of the universe, and contemplate the possibility of the non-existence of God.[10]:106–107. :71, Later in this same essay the author argues that "the sublime and the grotesque are in such close kinship that they are shadows of each other," and that "it is not always easy to distinguish the two, and the grotesque of one age easily becomes the sublime of another. ... Now it's the turn of the international free-lancers ...The landing is successful, right on target and just a few minute' stroll from the Dulcinea. This is the British English definition of wonder.View American English definition of wonder. a state of wonder, perplexity or melancholy. Learn a new word every day. SF is a uniquely modern incarnation of an ancient tradition: the tale of wonder. n. 1. a. b : to feel surprise. There was, to me, a clear connection to the sfnal "sense of wonder" that helped explain why twentieth-century science fiction was predominantly American." 'Wonder if the computer's finished its run. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'? Thus, SF's "sense of wonder" is a lie: "it reflects white American fantasies about nature, machines, and the 'frontier' . 128, "The story is also far less melodramatic than it might have been if published during the 1950s. It's there in his novel's Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, Rendezvous with Rama and his short stories "The Star", "Jupiter V" and "The Nine Billion Names of God"—possibly the definitive "sense of wonder" story. It was critically well received, and was nominated for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and the Orange Priz… . Discovery State of Wonder is a story that conveys a wonderful adventure of stunning scope and scenery. But the researcher is incommunicado. Wonder meaning and example sentences with wonder. State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. ISBN-13: 9780062049810 Summary Ann Patchett raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.. Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on … Hope Davis renders the characters in a way that enhances the ever more engrossing narrative. Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out. wonder (n.) Old English wundor "marvelous thing, miracle, object of astonishment," from Proto-Germanic *wundran (source also of Old Saxon wundar, Middle Dutch, Dutch wonder, Old High German wuntar, German wunder, Old Norse undr), of unknown origin.In Middle English it also came to mean the emotion associated with such a sight (late 13c.). Far from being mutually exclusive, the two aims can reinforce each other ...",[9]:3. Book review: 'The ambivalent paradise: Or, nature and the transcendent in British SF,' review of, "A Key to the Terminology of science fiction fandom",, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Most science fiction writers wish to make their readers feel the thrill, the sense of wonder, that so marked SF's youth that the genre still claims it as a sort of trademark, even though it is scarcely to be found today. 56, "It was that vision of exciting new technologies and the bright tomorrows they might create that gave us the "sense of wonder" veteran fans lament with such nostalgia. before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a, before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a, 12th century, in the meaning defined above, Middle English, from Old English wundor; akin to Old High German wuntar wonder. In Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction the term sense of wonder is defined as follows: SENSE OF WONDER n. a feeling of awakening or awe triggered by an expansion of one's awareness of what is possible or by confrontation with the vastness of space and time, as brought on by reading science fiction. As we accompany Marina on her journey into the Amazon, Patchett allows us to imagine how we would respond to …

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