Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Debut Novel Plays With 17th-Century Science, Philosophy And More | Literature - 90.5 WESA

Names like Gottfried Leibniz and Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II are not exactly trending at the moment, says Bill O'Driscoll, Arts & Culture Reporter.

The Organs of Sense: A Novel
So what possesses a young writer to build his debut novel around these real-life 17th-century personages, as inserted into a darkly comic, rhetoric-filled narrative about philosophy, astronomy, madness and art?

Ask Adam Ehrlich Sachs. The Pittsburgh-based author is getting national press for “The Organs of Sense" –from publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux – which purports to be famed German philosopher Leibniz’s account of his youthful 1666 journey to meet an aged, eyeless astronomer who has predicted a solar eclipse. But most of the novel is devoted to that fictional astronomer’s account of his own story, set in 1599, of pursuing his research in Rudolf’s dysfunctional court.
“I was going for topicality,” quipped Sachs.

The novel has its roots in Sachs’ doctoral studies at Harvard, in the history of science...

Leibniz, said Sachs, was “the great rationalist” of the time, positioning himself against thinkers like Descartes, who argued we couldn’t know anything outside of our own minds, and Spinoza, who questioned free will.
“Leibniz’s whole philosophy, in a sense, is to try to defend those things, those common-sense ideas,” he said.

Source: 90.5 WESA