Sunday, April 17, 2011
Pluto's Demotion and the Intertextual Universe
The poet Muriel Rukeyser said, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." In my research methods class, I also learned that according to some theorists, the universe is intertextual. I agree! Scientists have proven it with Pluto's demotion to a dwarf planet: Growing up, my perception of reality was bracketed by the concept of a nine-planet solar system. It's what my science book and teachers drummed into my thick skull. I remember piecing together nine-planet puzzles, seeing posters and marble kits that all included Pluto... Today? Not so much. I was recently mildly peeved to visit a science museum and find Pluto missing from the solar line up. Even the gift shop had obliterated Pluto. Granted, I'm happy that Ceres and Xena are part of the solar system club now, but the point is that a piece of my universe has dropped off its previously appointed pedestal, reshifting my reality.
Go Muriel. You were right.