Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Reads: Einstein's Dreams

Something entirely different this Friday:


Genre: I think the only moniker that could possibly work is literary fiction.

By: Alan Lightman

What's it about?  It's 1905, a young Einstein has just written 26 pages that will become his theory of relativity, and he's been thinking about time.  A lot.  The short vignettes that make up the book each explore a world in which time functions or is perceived differently.

Why did I pick it? I had to read this for a class in college, and it stuck with me, so I decided to reread it.

Who will like it?  If you like to ask "what if?" and appreciate a more literary style of prose (not dense--just a definite and deliberate use of language for beauty as well as function).  You'll probably have thought of some of these scenarios before, and some will be new, but all are approached in such an intimate, human-based, emotional manner that it feels like genuine exploration either way.  It's not a science book, despite the fact that it's written by a physicist (sidenote--if the world is fair it's required that he must have a conehead or a third eye to make up for the fact that he's a physicist and a talented writer).  It won't dive into theory or practicality at all, but sticks solely to what it would be like to look in on a world in which time works completely differently.

Judging a book by its cover: Can you for this book? The cover is simple, spare, and nearly technical.  The book is simple, spare, and not at all technical.  There's also that nagging phrase "A Novel."  I'm not sure what you would call this, but a novel it is not.  A series of vignettes, perhaps?  And though we associate clocks with time, you see quickly in reading the book that even in our world and the way time functions here they're perhaps more symbolic than real...

What are you reading heading into the weekend?

2 comments:

  1. Hmm. Sounds really interesting. I've never heard of it before. I'll have to check it out.

    I'm reading Wharton's The Buccaneers.

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  2. I've never heard of it either :) But I really love that cover.

    I'm reading "OTOLI", which is a signed copy I was sent but never got round to reading.

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