The Deja Vu Experiment by J.G. Renato

The Deja Vu Experiment

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This meditation on metaphysical topics also serves as a tribute to the author’s late wife.

In this short book on spirituality and metaphysics, Renato jumps from personal experience to the texts of major religions to scientific discoveries to art as he explains how his wife, Diana, who passed away in her late 60s, introduced him to new ways of thinking. The concept of déjà vu is defined here as a matter of “gaps” in time and space, or as the author explains, “just as the Deconstructionists use gaps…to begin to explore the truth or ultimate reality behind a text, so too can these gaps in the space and time of the physical universe be used to follow Alice down the rabbit hole, so to speak.” After explaining how Diana encouraged him to re-evaluate his view of the world by developing a different understanding of reality, Renato draws on everything from René Magritte’s paintings to Zen koans to verses from the New Testament to explain his concept of the universe. The theme of light is one of Renato’s driving concepts, and he connects the idea of halos to the Impressionists’ representations of light and Einstein’s discoveries related to the properties of light. At times, the book takes on a memoirlike tone, as Renato shares events from his own life, many of which seem to have a fantastic element to them: “I started to become caught up in my own fame. I started to take pride in the apocryphal stories I had heard about me, no matter how far from the truth they were.” In certain moments, readers might be left wondering whether Renato is telling his own story or whether Diana and the unnamed narrator are instead fictional characters. In the end, Renato’s devotion to Diana—“Now, with help from Diana, I can look, I can see. I can be a good guy again”—seems to be just as important as the metaphysical concepts.

A brief but complex and personal discussion of metaphysical interpretations.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0989718615
Page count: 97pp
Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
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