Science, Fiction (Abstract)

Dexter Sinister (after E.C.  Large), 2007, lithographic proof print, 107 x 77 cm

While it seems that, professionally at least, Large never really reconciled the division of his scientific and literary work, it is precisely the symbiosis of the two that animates his early fiction today. His writing is defined by a wide-ranging set of interests, temperament and capacity that is equal parts classic and romantic — a duality which extends to any of the parallel dichotomies itemized by Robert M. Pirsig in his Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Scientific vs. Artistic, Technical vs. Human, or Rational vs. Emotional. Pirsig sets up these opposites in order to assert that the fundamental misunderstanding, disinformation, mistrust, and hostility that characterize modern societies are rooted in the personal and communal inability to reconcile these two poles:

“Persons tend to think and feel exclusively in one mode or the other, and in doing so tend to misunderstand and underestimate what the other mode is all about. But no one is willing to give up the truth as he sees it, and as far as I know, no one now living has any real reconciliation of these truths or modes. There is no point at which these visions of reality are unified.”

–“Science, Fiction,” Stuart Bailey, Dot Dot Dot #17, 2009