i’ve always said this is one of my most favorite books even though i was only 16 or so when i read it. (plus it validated my thing for jewish authors.) i re-read it for book club recently, but missed the meeting. not having talked about it yet must be why i felt compelled to write something about it on goodreads. which i’ve copied here.
just finished this book for the second time. i rarely read books twice, but the first time was in high school and i remember enjoying it so much. i had sort of forgotten why, other than that the paradigms of time comprising each chapter were in and of themselves intriguing. apparently it also had to do with the challenge to my teenage mind to think about the plight of the modern man. this must have been the focus of many class discussions on this book, based on some notes in the margins i found. it did trigger memories of those english teachers trying to get us to decide how to life a productive and authentic life. for example, on p. 17 after the chapter about time travel, I had written, “we, although not time travelers, can change the future with the way we live, things we do, etc. what is the difference between us and a traveler from the future in the risk involved in changing the future? we are living the life the will be the future but they are outsiders. the importance of what we do may be the same, but they try to omit themselves from courses of action, and we must commit the action in order to produce an effective course.” don’t know if i’d ever have come up with that now. funny though, cause i still think about action vs. inaction a whole lot, which might make those teacher happy. i also had many notes correlating the different conceptualizations of time to different characters in the sound and the fury. buh… i guess that one is next on my to-reread list.
ps. alan lightman once personally funded and built a mosque for a poor cambodian town. cause that’s just what jewish physicist-writers do.