When μ returns home to find a sinister screenplay has arrived from Brazil it propels him on a quest to track down a character he believes to be called Ddunsel.
As μ’s search progresses it slowly becomes entangled with two parallel tales – the stories of DOWN, a troubled publisher, and David Bohm, a real-life quantum theoretician in post-war São Paulo.
Just how far is it from London to Gotham City? Or from Paul Auster to Pierre Menard for that matter? Some people may think these sorts of questions are idle and ultimately meaningless but this book is not for them.
The Wave combines multiple narratives to blend metafiction, historical fiction and screenplay as each of the characters struggles to understand what is reality and what is fiction.
About the author
Lochlan Bloom is the author of the The Wave as well as the short novellas Trade and The Open Cage. The BBC Writersroom describes his writing as ‘unsettling and compelling… vivid, taut and grimly effective work’. He has written for BBC Radio, Litro Magazine, Porcelain Film, IronBox Films, EIU, H+ Magazine and Calliope, the official publication of the Writers’ Special Interest Group (SIG) of American Mensa, amongst others. Lochlan lives in London and does not have a cat or a dog.
One of the threads in the novel follows a character called David Bohm and whereas the other characters seem very much fictional Bohm was a real historical figure. Can you explain a little about why you chose to incorporate this real-life character?
Bohm was an American physicist from the mid-20th century and he not only worked with some of the greatest scientific minds during the McCarthy era, such as Einstein and Oppenheimer, but also lived through some fascinating political changes.
I was keen to include a real life character to provide another perspective on the question of what is and isn’t fiction. Having a character who was a real, living, breathing person instantly tethers the story to the real world in a way that the other sections are not. Given how the section ends it is obviously not purely historical but nonetheless it forced a different discipline in writing in that I was forced to research more into the real life David Bohm.
For most of his life, Bohm was obsessed with quantum mechanics and he was largely uninvolved in politics and yet was expelled by the United States. He was forced to travel to Brazil for a time before moving around the world and in his later years developing a close working interest in Eastern philosophies
The section in The Wave is set shortly after his arrival in Brazil and as the book as a whole is concerned with ideas such as uncertainty, duality and hidden connections there was a huge resonance with his work. There is certainly more than enough for a whole book about him alone.
Bohm developed this hidden variable theory of quantum mechanics which at a basic level suggests that all the interactions in the universe are intimately connected. The guiding wave is a part of a hidden order, an implicate order, and this concept tied in with the connections between story and reality I was exploring in the book.