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Einstein's Dreams

2 Ratings: 4.5
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1 review about Einstein's Dreams

A unique philosophical examination of the human condition

  • Aug 7, 2010
Rating:
+4

At first blush, for the briefest of moments, one might be excused for thinking that "Einstein's Dreams" was science fiction or perhaps even physics! But, in fact, Alan Lightman has treated us to an enchanting metaphysical flight of fancy loosely based on that most counterintuitive of ideas that Einstein shared with the world in his General Theory of Relativity - the idea that time is an integral part of the structure of the universe but that it is flexible, ever-changing and dependent on the frame of reference of the observer.

"Einstein's Dreams" is a collage of short, lucid essays that Lightman puts forward as the nocturnal dreamscapes in which a sensitive Einstein might have wandered as his intense genius created his famous theories. Worlds in which time stands still, runs backward, runs at varying speeds dependent on your location, passes in a circular ever-repeating pattern, or runs in a discontinuous pattern of starts and stops, for example, are the setting for a metaphorical examination of humanity's responses to these changing notions of time.

Lightman's elegant narrative prose, near poetry in its simple style and elegance, explores the human condition and demonstrates that such notions as love and hate, motivation or despair, joy or despondency and creativity are implicity dependent on our unstated understanding of the passage of time.

"Einstein's Dreams" is a short read that will occupy littler more than an hour or two to complete but it is thought-provoking, fascinating and quite compelling despite its appealing brevity and simplicity.

Paul Weiss
 

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August 07, 2010
Good job, CPW!
August 07, 2010
Thanks, Linda.
 
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