A Tribute to Isidor Saslav (1938-2013)
(Swans - February 11, 2013) I knew Isidor only through e-mails sent back and forth in the summer of 2011, when I was editing a special edition of Swans, where regular contributors listed their recommendations to the readers for musical selections, books, and motion pictures.
Isidor was an enthusiastic participant in this collective effort, and sent me several typescripts, which were eventually combined into his article in that special edition.
His book recommendations were all non-fiction, and included expositions on classics, history, nature, and natural history, which all happen to be preferences of my own.
Isidor's music recommendations were copious and effusive, and often about composers who were renowned in their day but are less remembered today. His writing about music, its composers (mainly of the 18th and 19th centuries), and the recording artists he had chosen to present to us, is rich with his obvious joy about, and knowledge of, music in general and these selections in particular.
Movies were another passion for Isidor, and his recommendations in the Swans special edition featured comedies, westerns, and inspirational dramas. I just saw one of the latter of these for the first time recently (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), remembering Isidor's recommendation of it. Isidor was an avid fan-reviewer of movies at the Internet Movie Database Web site, with over forty reviews to his credit -- of course, under the name "SHAWFAN."
Clearly, Isidor was a man of vivid enthusiasm for classical insight and intellectual stimulation, comedy, stirring action and emotion in motion pictures, and the lush outpourings of European classical, Bel Canto, and Romantic music and musical theater. What an enchanting and liberating spectrum of delights for the spirit, and occupations for the mind.
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About the Author
Manuel García, Jr. on Swans. He is a native of the upper upper west side barrio of the 1950s near Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City, and a graduate engineering physicist who specialized in the physics of fluids and electricity. He retired from a 29 year career as an experimental physicist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the first fifteen years of which were spent in underground nuclear testing. An avid reader with a taste for classics, and interested in the physics of nature and how natural phenomena can impact human activity, he has long been interested in non-fiction writing with a problem-solving purpose. García loves music and studies it, and his non-technical thinking is heavily influenced by Buddhist and Jungian ideas. A father of both grown children and a school-age daughter, today García occupies himself primarily with managing his household and his young daughter's many educational activities. García's political writings are left wing and, along with his essays on science-and-society, they have appeared in a number of smaller Internet magazines since 2003, including Swans. Please visit his personal Blog at manuelgarciajr.wordpress.com. (back)