Unfamiliar. Intriguing. Exotic.
304 pages, ★★★★
Reading Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight feels like gazing at a full moon. Its deep, blue hardcover spills over the edges of bright, white paper, the lettering on which represents cleverly-arranged crater-shadows.
We follow the author far and wide in pursuit of moonlight. He takes us from London to Japan, to Arizona, and to Las Vegas; and spans the entire arts/sciences spectrum, too, into what I would call ‘culturally unfamiliar territory’.
On the one hand, this book inspired me to read more books. It reminded me that I know nothing about Milton, Goethe, Li Po, or Blake. On the other hand, his sections on history of science (Galileo’s telescope), the unlit street story and the author’s direct experiences (the London lunar eclipse, the Arizona moon-ray collector), were much easier to relate to and a pleasure to read.
Nocturne introduced me to new themes I want to explore: Hei’an Japan, Arabic tradition, history of Western science, and Western philosophy.
Most inspiring was the author’s funding application. In one fleeting mention, he tells us that he applied for funding (from an unnamed funding body) to go to Japan. He was granted the cash immediately, and used it to great effect. His trip to Japan became a substantial part of this book. If I could write like he does, then I could apply for funding, too…
Most people won’t find Nocturne as exotic as I did. For me, all culture is exotic, which is why I enjoyed this book. ★★★★
- A Journey in Search of Moonlight (myintelligentlife.wordpress.com)