For those of you who write science fiction, books like Schlain's can be enlightening and inspiring. In fact, I've already written one story based on an idea from the book. So, for those of you who want some heavy summer reading, I highly recommend Art and Physics.
25 June 2008
Writing on Reading: Art and Physics
I don't normally post reviews of my nonfiction reading, but I couldn't resist talking about Art and Physics by Leonard Schlain. This book is a huge undertaking, basically going through the entire history of physics and art (mostly painting). It took me more than a month to get through it, which is a lot for me (I can usually finish a novel in about a week). The time was well spent, however. Schlain is a physician by training, so he does a great job talking about complex topics in an accessible way. I learned a great deal about both subjects, especially in the areas of modern art and quantum physics. It was also interesting following Schlain's premise: cutting edge artists expressed new developments in physics before they occurred.