Saturday, November 17, 2012

Connections in Art and Science

November 2012 Book Review

Proust Was a Neuroscientist
This book kicked my butt.  My feeble brain couldn’t handle all the stories about Walt Whitman, Marcel Proust, Paul Cezanne, Gertrude Stein, and others.  I think Lehrer’s contention of the link between art and science was within the pages, but my “humanities” muscles had gone dormant for too long to follow all the connections.  Lehrer’s later work resonates with me better than this book.  He outlines his case that many of the late 17th century artists were at a cusp of scientific discover simply based on their practices, theories and thoughts.  They simply lacked the tools available at our disposal in the 20th and 21st centuries to prove them.
Here are a few passages that caught my attention:
“Just as an astronomer is able to predict the future movement of a planet, Laplace believed that before long humanity would be able to reliably predict its own behavior.”
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T.S. Elliot”
“the third culture of today refers to scientist who communicate directly with the general public.  They are translating their truths for the masses”
“The greater one’s science, the deeper the sense of mystery. – Vladimir Nabokov”
The Fightin’ Analyst Book Rating:
out of five stars