About the arts and ideas - on my novels and literature, music, and art

A new book about Beethoven gathers together (and completely rewrites and supplements) my blog posts on Beethoven into a short introduction to the composer, Ways of Hearing Beethoven, which I hope to see published. My novel The Fall of the Berlin Wall, completed a year ago, is about musicians and particularly the intense, irrepressible daughter of the legendary pianist featured in my previous novel Hungry Generations, now fifteen years after those events. Five years ago, my 2015 novel, The Ash Tree, was published by West of West Books in conjunction with the April 24, 2015 centenary of the Armenian genocide; it's about an Armenian-American family and the sweep of their history in the twentieth century - particularly from the points of view of two women in the family.
There are three other novels of mine, which I would love to see published. One is Pathological States, about a physician's family in L.A. in 1962. Another is Hungry Generations, about a young composer's friendship in L.A. with the family of a virtuoso pianist, published on demand by iUniverse, which I think would be of value to a conventional publisher. A Burnt Offering - a fable (a full rewriting and expansion of my earlier Acts of Terror and Contrition - a nuclear fable) is my political novella about Israel and its reactions to the possibility of a war with Iran (with the fear that it will be a nuclear war).
[My blog posts are, of course, copyrighted.]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pathological States - a novel

In an earlier post, there's an excerpt from my unpublished novel "Pathological States" about a physician and his family living in Los Angeles in 1962. The novel is partly a fictionalized family memoir centered on a character a little like my late father, Dr. Perry Melnick, who was a pathologist and noted histochemist. Here's a brief summary:

"Pathological States - a novel"
It is 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Eichmann’s execution, and above-ground nuclear testing. Dr. Morris Weisberg is a sixty-year-old pathologist, amateur violinist, and classical music lover. He discovers a disastrous instance of malpractice and a cover-up reaching to the office of his Hospital Director. During this year, the troubled, quixotic doctor struggles to find a way to confront the crisis.
Morris and his wife, Sandra, were born in Europe near the start of the twentieth century, and each was brought to America at an early age. In 1962, the couple is living in suburbia, in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. They have two sons. Both are aspiring artists in their twenties, and one is straight, the other gay. As they test limits and act out their resentments, the household begins to fill with revelations of excess and abuse.
At work and at home, communication fails, brutal buried truths erupt, and Morris begins to descend into maddening depression. He seeks refuge in his love of classical music and in his California garden. His glassed-in lanai there offers him solace – a place like L.A. itself of pleasure and escape, which ends up being a haunted, alienated space. As Morris plummets, his struggle to keep affirming his faith in science and music wavers. Dr. Weisberg becomes a powerfully moving, larger-than-life character, noble and destructive and terrifying.

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