Signs of the times

Holding on to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium, by Albert Borgmann


Plowing the Dark, by Richard Powers

The abundance of ideas Richard Powers throws at readers can feel overwhelming. As I read this novel, Powers's seventh, I was tempted to try to identify each literary allusion or reference to popular culture. Yet, though Powers is one of our foremost novelists of ideas, his narratives engage our attention through characters who do more than toss around profound thoughts.