Mary Mullen Responds

Devin M. Garofalo’s closing question—“Are we too Victorian or not Victorian enough”?—identifies a tension running throughout The Age of Analogy.  While Griffiths’s account emphasizes the productive potential of harmonic analogies, we as readers also confront what Garofalo calls analogy’s “imperial aftershocks” as formal analogies persist, even proliferate in our world. I wonder if the contemporary disciplinary landscape contributes to the resurgence of formal analogies in the twenty-first century. Is the search for exoplanets an example of science without literature as opposed to the “science and literature” that Griffiths studies?  I don’t want to let literature or literary studies entirely off the hook, however, because formal analogies with imperial trappings persist in contemporary literature as well. By tracking both the potential and the pitfalls of analogical thought, Garofalo highlights the great strengths of Griffiths’s book while reminding us to be wary of our imperial present.

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