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.]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Revision of "Pathological States" finished 2016-17

I've placed the revised first chapter of "Pathological States" (replacing the original first chapter) in the blog entry for October 4, 2010 (which so far has almost 4000 views). With this new version, the search for an agent is resuming!
Here is a possible cover image:

Here's a synopsis:
“Pathological States” - a novel of about 67,000 words, 238 pages,
by Daniel Melnick; email: danielcmelnick@gmail.com
It is 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and hydrogen bomb testing, of Eichmann’s execution and the Telstar satellite. Dr. Morris Weisberg is a sixty-one year old pathologist, Chief of Laboratory, and a classical music lover and amateur violinist. Medicine is an obsession for him, and a devotion to truth is essential, he feels, in order to keep alive his professional values, which he finds under attack at his hospital.

Both the doctor and his wife, Sarah, are secular, educated Jews; they were born in Europe near the beginning of the twentieth century, and each was brought to America at an early age. Their mutual love of music brought them together in the 1920s, and now in 1962, the two of them are attempting to bear their chalice through the denatured suburbia of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Their worlds of music, family, medicine, and suburban survival are evoked in all their tragicomic intensity and instability.

At home in Northridge, the Weisbergs have raised two sons, and the family’s story is told by each family member in turn. Gene and Albert are now in their twenties and return this year to the suburban household. The young men—one of them is straight, the other gay—act out their needs and resentments, and the suburban household begins to fill with revelations of excess and abuse.

At work, Morris unearths a disastrous instance of unprofessional conduct and a cover-up reaching to the office of the Hospital Director. As the pathologist struggles with his ethical responsibilities and the threat to his career, buried truths erupt both at work and at home. He tries to control his rage and disorientation, only to plummet deeper into depression. The heartbreaking struggle persists in him, though, to affirm his love of science and of music, despite the despair he experiences in sunny California and early sixties America.

By the end of “Pathological States,” Morris Weisberg becomes a moving, larger-than-life Dr. Quixote, both noble and destructive. This eloquent and powerful novel zooms in close to Morris’ tragicomic struggle and pans far out to see what signs of reconciliation and healing endure in his time and place.

Video of Interview about "The Ash Tree" on the Joan Quinn Profiles

Here's a link to my interview in late April of 2015 about "The Ash Tree" - on the Joan Quinn Profiles (a cable arts interview show). At first it took quite a while to load, but it seems to be working now. Hope it's interesting and enjoyable. [Highlight the web address below  and click on the "go to" link.]