An imaginative tour de force, Starfall consists of three dramatic dialogues among real people in imagined settings. In "The Aquarians," Russian film director Sergei Eisensteinwhose artistic theories run throughout the bookargues about art with Bertolt Brecht on the Moscow-to-Berlin train in 1932. "The Sorcerer's Apprentices" takes place at a 1935 performance given by Chinese actor Mei Lan-Fang and his troupe, the prime representatives of the time's "classical" Chinese theater. Speeches by Eisenstein contrasts the Russian theater with that of the Chinese and other Europeans. "Ash Wednesday" has Eisenstein engaging Mikhail Bakhtin on German culture, astrology, and jazz.
Starfall is a witty and fanciful example of postmodern scholarship in action and will appeal to all readers interested in the developments of twentieth-century dramatic art.