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Chris Knight’s Newtonian “Gravity” Review Is a First-Rate Stab at the 3rd Law

In response to Chris Knight’s 1070‑word review of Gravity on National Post

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Chris Knight’s “Gravity, reviewed: Star woes are brilliant for Clooney and Bullock, stuck a long, long way from home” is concerned about physics—the scientific and the metaphorical—in a thrilling and thought-provoking work.

Newton’s third law, that every action has an equal but opposite reaction, is the central concern of this cerebral piece. Forces exist in pairs, according to the law, and in this piece, the forces of the concrete and the abstract are presented in perfect juxtaposition.

Knight presents the “universal foe” of this law in the first act of a sprawling piece.  Star Woes is interested in hinting toward death rather than pointing directly at it, a goal accomplished by allusions to tombs and silences.

These cold certainties are balanced by sensation in a move that evokes Hamlet’s speech to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. “Dizzying” and “relativistic,” the abstraction is experience, a living and capable thing against the cold of space, of death, of universal laws that can’t be reckoned with.

This vitality is the theme of Star Woes‘ dramatic final act, which expands on the experiential element: pulsing hearts, voices that connect. It turns out that people here exist in pairs as well.

Turning what Prince Hamlet called “a majestical roof fretted with golden fire” into an empty void allows Knight to paint a picture. He does so with incredible skill and insight. Audiences will surely agree that passing up Star Woes would be a grave mistake.    

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