to a highly personal History of the Universe, including all those people, and all those events, that really matter - to me!
Click the Navigate By Date tab here, or in the navigation bar on the right-hand side of any page you happen to be on, and you can surf from date to date at will.
Only pages marked in lilac on the calendar are live with content - but pages are being added, and updated, all the time.
And in addition, commencing April 2018, dates marked in amber on the calendar, and text marked in amber on the blog-page, will list those people and events which are in planning, even perhaps in process - so watch that space for the amber to switch to green (or lilac actually).
My novel "A Journey in Time", due for publication very soon, tells the tale of a history professor in search of the universal history of his birthday, and his partnership with a woman who lives as though she were the reincarnation of Amelia Earhart, as well as being obsessed with trying to find all the living people with whom she shares a birthday - a satire, as you will no doubt have deduced from this blurb. But behind all satire lies a serious purpose: a desire to explore the nature of time - and of history, which is one of its manifestations - in order to witness the recurrent themes, to identify the lessons that perhaps we might one day try to learn.
In this blog I am attempting to create what is neither a sequel nor a prequel but a kind of paraquel, a book-along-similar-lines, though whether there will be any plot, or characters besides the historical, remains doubtful.
Where "Journey" is fixed on a single date, this will cover the entire year, but focus on a single subject: the creations and achievements of the human brain, whether in art and literature and music, in science and exploration, even, rarely though that may be, in politics; and especially those remarkable humans who tend to be overlooked, ignored, forgotten or prohibited.
And how will I decide what to include, and what to leave out? At one moment of the novel, the narrator comments that "history is only ever significant when it is also personal" - whence also the comment at the top of this page: I will be including only those people and events that have had an impact on me...
I am interested, for example, in Lawrence of Arabia, and in Catherine of Aragon, because, in my teens, I watched immensely powerful movies about them, both as it happens starring Peter O'Toole.
I am not that interested in the Rebbes of Chasidim, but Menachem-Mendl of Kocke fascinates me, because he may be family.
I am drawn to certain landscape paintings of the French impressionists, mostly those of the cliffs and coast of Etretat - because I used to visit those cliffs on my velomoteur, when I was living in Le Havre.
And so this list could go on.
The historical characters in certain songs by Bob Dylan, because I like those songs.
An obscure Bengali poet named Rabindranath Tagore, because my new-residents hostel in Ramat Aviv was on a street that bore his name.
What turns out to have been a very important scientist at NASA, though I only learned this after he retired, and then the chance discovery that he was a distant cousin of my ex-wife.
These, in the end, are what draw us in, and it seems to me an entirely valid method of auto-biography, one that records the growth of the inner life rather more interestingly than the all-too-often banal details of the outer life.
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