Author du Jour: Lawrence Weschler

WavesPassing-cover-smallWaves Passing in the Night,” by Lawrence Weschler

(Bloomsbury, pp 176, $25.00)

If you wonder what “Apocalypse now, “The Godfather,” and “The English Patient,” have in common, you may scratch your head for a while. Or maybe not. Yes they are all films. Congratulations. But think harder? The first two films would have been an easy guess, but when introducing the third title, the Kubrick-Coppola connection falls apart. The connection is what this engaging little book, half memoir half critical conversation, that Lawrence Weschler wrote with bravado, is about. Its subject? The celebration of the great Walter Murch, the nine-time nominee for the Academy Awards and three-time its winner. Murch was much more than a sound and film editor. Listen careful Lucas’s very first film “THX 1138,” (his most futuristic and thought-provoking by far) and you will understand that at the time of its release, the soundtrack was destined to contribute to its cult masterpiece status. In case you care to know, he also co-wrote the script with Lucas.

Still, the sophistication of sound editing hides Murch’s other passion. He was for much of his life a devout amateur astrophysicist, chronicling long forgotten connection between the Titius-Bode theory and musical harmony in the universe. For a long time, it was believed that each planet of our solar system emitted its own frequencies . . . I would spare you the details, but in this case the law was supposed to have a progression ordered very much like the Fibonacci numbers, and based on planets’ positions and rotations, one could deduce whether cosmic organization was subject to universal mathematical rules. As you can imagine a sound editor advancing long discredited physics theory did not go down too well. But at the heart of this quixotic quest, Murch questions the nature of knowledge. How do we know what we know? And who is to decide what we should know? The questions may seem a bit of a stretch. Not everyone agrees that we should accept universal order in specific examples. But if these sorts of questions are something you are not used to face, you are in for a seductive compelling read.

Books du Jour, Ep#203, “Mysterious Fluid Poetry”

Episode #203      “Mysterious Fluid Poetry” 

Only on LIFE 25, NY at 10:30 pm

Ever since Adorno claimed that writing poetry after Auschwitz was impossible, poetry has persisted and flourished. The vitality of our three guests proves that writing more than ever is an integral part of life to share our experiences. Writing in different style and tone, their books convey the compelling energy of creativity and the much needed momentum for endless discoveries and growth.

LEVY-smallMarc Levy, “Replay” takes place on July 9, 2012, when NYT investigative reporter Andrew Stillman while jogging alongside the Hudson collapses in a pool of blood.

When he regains consciousness, it is May 7, two months earlier. Stillman has now 60 days to find out who wants him dead. If only the past mistake could be fixed to alter the present.

MULDOON-smallPaul Muldoon, “One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.” Smuggling diesel, a real trip to Havana, an Imaginary trip to the Chateau d’If, are just some topics of Paul Muldoon’s newest collection, which is exceptionally wide-ranging in its subject matter often within the same poem. If there is a theme to this collection, it is watchfulness.

PAVONE-smallChris Pavone, “The Accident.” Following the sensation with the “Expat,” which was influenced by his experience in Luxembourg, Chris Pavone has penned “The Accident” a masterful thriller that has all the hallmarks of suspense and high-end elegance in an international story of a dangerous manuscript resurfacing and creating havoc in the lives of the characters coming into contact with it.

Thank you to City Winery NY