Posted on behalf of Raka Bhattacharyya
Where to begin with such an absurd, surreal tale that defies logic, physics, and all concept of sense?
We all must begin somewhere, and I will begin by saying that this is the sort of book that somehow makes enough sense to not make any sense, or it doesn’t make enough sense in order to make actual sense.
It is the inexplicable tale of an astrologer, who, without eyes, predicted some of the most important and ground-breaking astrological discoveries. To see whether or not the aforementioned astrological events were predicted accurately, young Gottfried Leibnitz braves through the desert to meet with the astrologer.
What unfolds when the astrologer tells Leibnitz the tale of his life is one of the most surreal, nonsensical tales that you may ever come across. It’s a complex tale of confusion, love, hate, and madness that makes less and less sense the more that you read yet continues to grow on you. The astrologer, being one of the most confounding characters in the stories, continues to grow more and more intriguing despite making less and less sense throughout the story.
Sachs has a skill of endearing us to the human condition, which is clear in this nonsensical story and how it appeals to its readers. While the story is exaggerated, it is this exact quality that I personally admired very deeply. The shared madness of the prince and the king, the loneliness of the astrologer and his strange, disillusioned relationship with his son- all of these interactions have a profound sense of emotion attached to them purely due to their strange nature.
And this is something that humans all have in common- that we all experience things and form inexplicable relationships with one another that we cannot fully comprehend. And this is an aspect of the human nature that Sachs elaborates on and capitalizes on with all of the experiences and interactions of the characters in the story; reassuring the readers that these strange occurrences or bonds that we form need not be completely understood and instead enjoyed.
Sachs’ work encourages readers to enjoy the bits of life that appeal to us yet never make any sense.
If you’re looking for the type of book that makes little to no sense but somehow teaches you more about yourself and the other humans around you, look no further, because Adam Ehrlich Sachs’ The Organs of Sense has it down to a T.