Synopses & Reviews
A modern classic, Einstein's Dreams
is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a patent office in Switzerland. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.
Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein's Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.
"Alan Lightman uses varying concepts of time as a thread to hold together a set of short sketches which are meant to be fictional dreams Einstein has while he is working on his theory of relativity. He dreams worlds in which time runs backwards, or is circular, or is different for each person. Time is a malleable substance in Mr. Lightman's hands which he molds into many tiny statuettes for our study and delight. A beautifully written and thoughtprovoking book." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Endlessly fascinating. A beguiling inquiry into the not-at-all theoretical, utterly time-tangled, tragic and sublime nature of human life." The Boston Globe
"Lightman is an artist who paints with the notion of time." Los Angeles Times