Reading Dan Frank, Book Editor and ‘Champion of the Unpaved’


I met him through Alan Lightman, who emailed me to say that he was coming to New York to give a speech, and whether I would accompany him and the two guests – his daughter and a man named Dan – for the night. Wanted to have dinner.

I immediately felt it, justified, glowing, a kind of polite warmth but at the same time a very lively mind. He was such a lovely person, so subtle and generous, an avatar of what a great editor does: get out of the way, take the debris that the writer puts in his way.

He was very interested in the intersection of novelist and scholar. He uniquely understood how the whole of history is a kind of narrative on reality – an invention and interpretation. Science is a human-driven pursuit of truth. Not in a social-creative way; Are you there is A fundamental truth. But the search can be transformed into itself, because we have only the tools of human consciousness to do the work. Whatever artificial organs – binoculars, microscopes – it is still a human mind that processes and analyzes, which filters everything through its life, its love, its lost donations, everything.

The history of science is ultimately the history of human experience. Dan noticed that there was something to see that defied the robotic model of objectivity. All his books have a common question: “What is it all about?” What is all this?”

Alan Lightman is a physicist and author at MIT. He has published a dozen books with Dan Frank, which began in 1986 “A modern day Yankee in Connecticut court. And other essays on science. “

On March 30, 1943, I received a letter from an editor I had never heard of, stating that if I ever wanted to write a book, I should contact: “I am your column, The Physical Element has been teaching, for over a year, and I am particularly impressed by the ease and grace with which you articulate complex ideas. “

He was a powerful encouragement. Before the Internet, Dan always sent me a letter before anything else; Not a phone call, but a letter. I kept that letter and all the letters I received from it.

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