alternative idea for the essay

After considering Tuur’s comments about the three ways to approach the essay we have to write by the end of this course I came up with a new topic for my own research. It is based on Tuur’s first ‘way’ of connecting Auden in a direct way to science, only instead of starting my research from Auden’s point of view I will start from the side of the natural sciences.

            My idea is to take scientific publications (from the natural sciences) and to see whether and how Auden is quoted. This could show how Auden’s art has an influence in science in a rather direct way since it is the scientists who take up Auden’s work and use it in their profession.

            A first search in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) already provided me over 20 texts in which Auden is mentioned, more than half of them quotes one or more lines of his texts. Interestingly a search on ‘Auden’ results in 151 hit, most of them about W.H.’s father Dr. G.A. Auden.

I think this can be a very interesting approach and a way to swim against the stream of science influencing arts. I see only one problem on the horizon: there is a risk I might migrate from Auden to natural science. It becomes rather easy to create a more quantitative research on the quotation of Auden by (natural) scientists.

            I therefore propose I won’t waste any more time in finding Auden quotes in science but take the BMJ papers as a case for a qualitative analysis. This would concretely mean that I will focus on the approximately 12 BMJ publications and analyze how the quotes of Auden are used. This strategy immediately implies that I will have to know and analyze Auden’s original publications as well, just like some additional texts he wrote on related subjects.

            By limiting my self to BMJ publications I am also limited to medical publications thus enabling myself to take one clear subject on the basis of which I can also select Auden texts.


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