Einstein's Dreams

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Einstein's Dreams

by Alan Lightman

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | November 9, 2004 | Trade Paperback

Einstein's Dreams is rated 4.25 out of 5 by 4.
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 144 pages, 7.98 × 5.16 × 0.37 in

Published: November 9, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 140007780X

ISBN - 13: 9781400077809

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A whole new perspective of time The language made for an easy read which really allowed me to reflect on the deeper understanding of time. Each chapter is a different concept of time told in a storybook manner. I highly recommend this book
Date published: 2009-09-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Time-dreaming The intention of a novel filled with short stories, or rather dreams of the concept of time and space is intriguing. There were some brilliant, magical ones that showed the stretch of the author's imagination and his creative flair with words, but conversely I was also utterly bored by some of the ideas and choice of words. No doubt though, the novel leads one to ponder about the relative notions of time within life, life among time.
Date published: 2009-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Abstract & Elegant I found the ideas in Einstein's Dreams so moving and elegant... alternative interpretations of our stasis and time folding... and the language is poetic and minimal... Masterful. One idea I think Lightman missed is the idea of time moving faster as people gather in groups, and it moves slower as they move farther away from the crowd. It could have been a great opportunity to imagine how fear of a short life could isolate a person or vice versa.
Date published: 2007-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical! I was required to read this for a Graphic Design class then translate the my interpretations into a visual form. I probably would not have read it otherwise simply because I did not know it existed. However, this was one of the best required readings I have ever been given. As the publisher notes, Einstein had these dreams while completing his theory of relativity. Physicist Alan Lightman collected these ideas and published them as a series of fables challenging time, essence, space, and reality. It provokes reader interest and inspires imaginative thought while gaining perspective on one of the most influential scientists in the past century.
Date published: 2006-07-13

– More About This Product –

Einstein's Dreams

Einstein's Dreams

by Alan Lightman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 144 pages, 7.98 × 5.16 × 0.37 in

Published: November 9, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 140007780X

ISBN - 13: 9781400077809

About the Book

An imaginary re-creation of Einstein's discovery of the nature of time, this novel takes readers through the young patent clerk's many dreams depicting compelling conceptions of time. New signed, boxed edition.

Read from the Book

14 April 1905Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.For the most part, people do not know they will live their lives over. Traders do not know that they will make the same bargain again and again. Politicians do not know that they will shout from the same lectern an infinite number of times in the cycles of time. Parents treasure the first laugh from their child as if they will not hear it again. Lovers making love the first time undress shyly, show surprise at the supple thigh, the fragile nipple. How would they know that each secret glimpse, each touch, will be repeated again and again and again, exactly as before?On Marktgasse, it is the same. How could the shopkeepers know that each handmade sweater, each embroidered handkerchief, each chocolate candy, each intricate compass and watch will return to their stalls? At dusk, the shopkeepers go home to their families or drink beer in the taverns, calling happily to friends down the vaulted alleys, caressing each moment as an emerald on temporary consignment. How could they know that nothing is temporary, that all will happen again? No more than an ant crawling round the rim of a crystal chandelier knows that it will return to where it began.In the hospital on Gerberngasse, a woman says goodbye to her husband. He lies in bed and stares at her emptily. In the last two months, his cancer has spread from his throat to his liver, his pancreas, his brain. His two young child
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From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

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.

About the Author

Alan Lightman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and educated at Princeton and the California Institute of Technology. His books include the novels Good Benito, The Diagnosis, and Reunion; a collection of essays and fables, Dance for Two; and several books on science. His latest, a collection of essays, A Sense of the Mysterious, will be published by Pantheon books in January 2005. He lives in Massachusetts.

Editorial Reviews

“A magical, metaphysical realm...Captivating, enchanting, delightful.” —The New York Times

“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