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Thread: Tolkien&Lewis=Einstein&Heisenb

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Tolkien and Lewis are to fiction what Einstein and Heisenberg are to physics.

This is not a very precise notion, but has anyone ever seen an analogy between these groups of writers in the early 20th century and groups of another intellectual discipline? For me, I can't explain why, but I always get a mental image of Tolkien and Lewis as the literary version of Einstein and Heisenberg. Tolkien and Lewis and others got together and corresponded about the complexity and magic of language and story-telling, much like Einstein and Heisenberg and others would get together and correspond about physics. Of course, Einstein being recognized as arguably the most influential (or at least most involved) physicist of the early 20th century is a fitting doppleganger to Tolkien, unless Tolkien is just too eminent.
How very interesting. I think life is full of such strange couples.And the whys and the hows of their coming together and impacting the world as they do is truly enchanting and strange.
Let me see: Einstein was certain about how the physical universe worked; Heisenberg built a large volume of his theory (Quantum Mechanics) on this, even though he was uncertain about specific aspects of it. Tolkien was certain about how the spiritual universe worked; Lewis in growing to believe in this, wrote many volumes about the many aspects of it. (I last studied Quantum Mechanics when I took a course in Modern Physics 43 years ago during the last semester of my senior year ay Uni, which now means that so many electrons have flowed around the nucleus in those intervening years, that my physics course can no longer be considered modern.)
I'm not sure that that characterization of Heisenberg's dependence on Einstein's work is accurate. But this is not a physics forum, so we probably should not get into it here. Maybe you're making a very subtle pun regarding the uncertainty principle. If so, how very amusing. I will be pondering that little twist for a while.

I think there was the same kind of atmoshpere, anyway, among these physicists (Einstein, Heisenberg, and the boys (and girls)) as there was among the fiction writers (The Inklings). They would get together in sort of a pub setting and share their latest objects of research, and play silly intellectual games to lighten the mood.

(BTW, I think I should change Heisenberg to Bohr in order to get the pair to match Tolkien and Lewis better. I think I was initially confusing Heisenberg with Bohr.)
(Yes, Niels Bohr would probably have been a better match, but then my certain/uncertainty joke(?) would have had a higher mass than the lead balloon it became. Still Bohr would have been better for my reference to electrons. And you are right, we shouldn't be looking so much at the physics side of the comparison, but the literary/philologist side.)
There are times when I like to just sit in the shadows by the fireplace and listen to the grownups talk. Elf Winking Smilie
I think JRRT was more like Richard Feynmann. Lewis can be Robert J. Oppenheimer.
You don't think Feynman was too much of a young whipper-snapper? And Oppenheimer... yikes; care to elaborate?