Monday, January 29, 2007

Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman, is a fictional collection of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein applying the cosmic theories to an imaginary village. Explored concepts include: counter-clockwise time, frozen time, accelerated time, the end of time, and other parallel realities. Combining drama, movement, video, original music, and high-tech lighting, this production brings Lightman's meditations to life for a spectacular exploration of the fourth dimension.

Its wonderful fiction to imagine what Einstein might have been thinking in the nights before submitting his historic manuscript on theory of relativity in 1905. If time, energy, gravity, and even space are not the constants that they seem intuitively to us to be; if our understanding of those concepts is based on our own limited experience in the universe and on each of those dimensions; if their interactions might yield previously unexpected results, then how different might our world be from other possible worlds? Might time not stand still in some worlds? Or be rushed, or slowed to a snail's pace? Repeated endlessly? What would be the interpersonal consequences? Would the inhabitants notice? Would they care?

Lightman is absolutely brilliant. Despite that fact that he teaches physics at MIT, you don't need even the slightest background in the sciences to understand him. He's fascinating -- and from the standpoint of fiction writing, his stories are beautifully and simply written, so straightforward yet somehow lyrical. He's very moving in his simplicity.

This little book is proof that a simple idea need not result in a trivial composition.

1 comment:

dharmabum said...

its a wonderful read, i agree. especially coz i think it can be read at two levels. the superficial level of multiple time concepts and also at a much deeper level that explores our consciousness in a subtle way...

lightman studied physics. but i thought the intro in the book says he teaches humanities?