AAN ZEE

A NOVEL
 

by

 

Photo by Udo Helmholz

JOACHIM FRANK

(Columbia University, USA)

 

 

 

 

Cover Art: ISAAC ISRAELS (1865-1934), AAN ZEE
(Scheveningen Museum, The Netherlands)

ISBN: 978-1-937030-79-7
2019

 

'Hubert anticipated the trip with excitement.  It was less than three months away.  Europe was this crammed old world of infinite complexity, a coffee house full of strange foreign voices, full of dissonances, yet, oddly enough, a house where everybody knew his place.  In the center of it was the piece of Germany that had been his home, surrounded by well-wishing yet suspicious neighbors.  It was still possible to get a rude welcome when speaking German in Holland, and in a way Hubert felt that by speaking English he'd enter that country in a masquerade, a wolf in a sheep's clothing, and thereby avoid the unpleasantness stirred up by the past.  But he had been less than two years old when the Germans had invaded the Netherlands, and it would be easy to explain that underneath his clothing there was yet another lamb. Because there was the other Europe of hope, the increasingly happy intermingling of voices, the sophisticated fabric of urban civilization.  There was even the newly relaxed demeanor of custom officers -- traditionally the barking phalanx of national pride.  It was this new land he couldn't wait to see again.  But there was also the thrill of traveling, of chance encounters, of new possibilities to redefine his life.  He watched himself in the mirror for promises that might be written on his face: Intellectual depth?  Affection?  Sophistication in love-making?  Those were all qualities he claimed to possess.  Or was it a face that would cause its bearer to be dismissed as superficial, uninviting, boring, just because of mistakes in the mechanisms of countenance?  He tried out some of his facial muscles and immediately disapproved of what he saw: a strange succession of grins.'

 

 

 

     Aan Zee is about the tragic-comic search of a man for his identity between two cultures. It is a modern Bildungsroman, in the sense that the heroe searches for a purpose and is transformed in the process. Hubert Belovski, a German-born scientist now living in the United States of America, is confronted with his past in the shape of a former girlfriend, as he goes to Scheveningen in the Netherlands, following an invitation to speak at a Conference on Fluid Dynamics. Aan Zee is the name of his hotel, which has seen better days. After a brief rekindling of passion, he is left feeling more alone than before. On his ways to his aunt in Austria, he is struck by a viral flu that leaves him immobilized and in her care for months, enough time to reflect on his life. He finally recovers and, in Rip van Winkle fashion, returns into a world that has moved on.  

   
Resultado de imagen para joachim frank
JOACHIM FRANK AND HIS WIFE CAROL SAGINAW JOACHIM FRANK, A 2017 NOBEL PRIZE WINNER

On his way to one conference in Vermont, Joachim Frank passed through forests. He would never see the same way again. He saw deep into nature, and felt the essence of his life's work.

'All the sudden it occurred to me that in every single cell, leaf and tree the ribosomes are rotating. It was a mind-boggling experience.'                                                                                              

Heather Bellow, 'Nobel winner Joachim Frank, a part-time Alford resident, peers deep into life's machinery,' The Berkshire Eagle (December 9, 2017). 

JOACHIM FRANK HOLDING A THREE-DIMENSIONAL MODEL OF THE RIBOSOME,
A BIOMOLECULE HE HAS STUDIED WITH THE ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
Resultado de imagen para joachim frank

Joachim Frank is a scientist and a writer living in New York. He has published a number of prose poems and short stories. His creative work has been published in literary and travel journals. He is the author of two other still unpublished novels, Narcis and The Observatory. He is a Professor at Columbia University, USA. In 2017 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson.

    

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