Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Ballad of Love

After reading "The Seven Who Fled," I wanted to read another Prokosch novel. I decided to read "A Ballad of Love" because I wanted to see how the author's writing style might have changed over the course of his career.
Though "A Ballad of Love" was written 23 years after "The Seven Who Fled," any differences in overall writing style were subtle. The settings of the two books were extremely different, and yet the earlier novel withstood comparison to the latter quite nicely.
There were times when the atmosphere of "A Ballad of Love" reminded me of "La Dolce Vita" by Federico Fellini (which incidentally was released in the same year). Other times, I felt that the descriptions of love, lust, and adoration were so intimate that I had to remind myself that the book was not an autobiography.
"A Ballad of Love" is certainly not for everybody (the second chapter alone contains enough potentially controversial material to keep the book off many a shelf), but for those who are not easily offended, it is a deeply moving book.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"The Geographical Novel"

Last night I finished "The Seven Who Fled," by Frederic Prokosch. The novel was one of the most atmospheric books I have ever read. The most striking thing about the story was the way in which the surroundings were as important as the characters themselves. I believe that this is what Albert Camus was referring to when he said, "Prokosch has invented what might be called the geographical novel, in which he mingles sensuality with irony, lucidity with mystery. He conveys a fatalistic sense of life half-hidden beneath a rich animal energy. He is the master of moods and undertones, a virtuoso in the feeling of place, and he writes in a style of supple elegance."
I discovered Frederic Prokosch quite by accident. While browsing books of poetry, in a used book store (located in downtown Chicago), I randomly plucked "The Assassins" from a shelf, and proceeded to be amazed.
After reading "The Seven Who Fled," I do not understand why Prokosch is so obscure today, and I wonder if there will ever be renewed interest in his work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I don't hate Microsoft quite as much as many Linux users. I don't trust them, I don't like their products, and I certainly don't want to pay the Microsoft tax when purchasing a computer.
It seems that the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation have similar feelings on the subject.
I don't really feel like this will have a big impact in the U.S., but to quote Richard Brautigan, "One must keep track of all the small victories. I do, anyway."