Einstein's Dreams

Einstein's Dreams

Book - 1993 | First edition.
Average Rating:
7
1
Rate this:
A modern classic, Einstein's Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, about time, relativity and physics. 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.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [1993]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9781400077809
140007780X
Branch Call Number: LIG
Characteristics: 179 pages ;,17 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

w
wyenotgo
Feb 14, 2016

Although designated as a novel, this is actually a piece of sheer whimsy. Elegantly engaging prose, vivid imagery. A whole series of "what if time as we understand it doesn't really function that way at all" scenarios. Or what if time is just a conceit that humans have conjured up to explain the cosmos to ourselves, and does not really exist at all?
I find myself wondering what the author's motivation was in writing this. Perhaps, as a physics professor, he got tired of trying to explain abstruse concepts to his classes and this was his way of releasing his frustration. Or perhaps he has gotten a bit too closely involved with some of his students' recreational pursuits, aided by their favorite brand of weed ....
I doubt if he intended for the book to be taken seriously as other than a piece of recreational artistry.

MIT physics professor Alan Lightman could have written a purely science or philosophical first book with authority. Instead, he made his debut with this delightful series of short stories from the perspective of a dreaming young Einstein. Each vignette explores time, physics and existence. It's the perfect bedtime read. Recommended by Michele

s
stewstealth
Oct 07, 2014

Through the prism of Albert Einstein's fictionalized dreams the author tasks the reader to look at how we view time and how that affects our lives. A short book if you are interested in it.

JCLJoshN Mar 27, 2013

A delightful book of short daydreams that pose philosophical examinations of what life would be like if time worked differently than it does. Reminded me a lot of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges.

e
eliza11kb
Jun 29, 2012

This book is a collection of short stories that describe fictional worlds, each with space-time relationships different from our own linear existence. It reads like a set of intellectual exercises that can help open minds to new possibilities. I often reread a couple of these stories when I can't sleep at night, and they always lull me into an active, dream-filled sleep where anything is possible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who strives to think "outside of the box".

k
KKPGIRL
May 07, 2012

I had to read this book for class, and although it really made me think about time, and the deeper meaning of things, I didn't like it. Every few pages is a new chapter, and also a new theme about time. I felt that there really wasn't much of a point/ plot to this book, and it wasn't a very satisfying read. If you are fascinated by deep subjects such as time, you may enjoy this book. Overall, I would not recommend it, though.

k
kalio
Dec 30, 2009

Author Alan Lightman is a physics professor at MIT, but you?d think he was a poet from reading the delightfully fable-like Einstein?s Dreams. Albert Einstein has dozed off at his desk in Berne, Switzerland, where he works as patent clerk in 1905. While he sleeps, the future greatest scientist of our time dreams about time. Time has been on his mind a lot lately, because in 1905 Einstein was putting the finishing touches on his theory of relativity, that whole E = MC2 thing. But in his daydreams, the nature of time is lyrical and magical as well as scientific. Each chapter in this little book presents one of Einstein?s visions of time. In one dreamy vignette, time is cyclical, forcing people to constantly relive all the tragic, triumphant, comic, and foolish moments of their lives. In another, time runs backwards; in others, time stands still, or is a sense, or a dimension, or people know the future, or they can stop time and stay in their favorite moments forever. Sometimes Einstein wakes up and goes home and eats dinner, but the young genius (and the reader) always returns to his desk to sit and doze and dream. Thought-provoking and pleasingly unusual, this elegant little tome is a captivating contemplation on the nature of science, fantasy, dreams, and time.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

k
KKPGIRL
May 07, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at EPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top