Summary Prater Violet ò PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB

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Prater VioletPrater Violet is the most charming novel I have read in a long time Diana TrillingOriginally published in Christopher Isherwood's Prater Violet is a stingingly satirical novel about the film industry. A brief novella with no chapters published in 1945; Isherwood is as good as ever It is autobiographical and the main character is called Christopher Isherwood It describes Isherwood’s time as a screenwriter on the film Little Friend in 1934 The central character is a film director Friedrich Bergmann based on Berthold Viertel It is set at the time of the rise of Nazism just before the Anschluss; Bergmann is an Austrian Jew It is a satire of the film industry but it also depicts a time and place and captures the general indifference to the rise of Nazism Isherwood explores the tension between creative artists and the insidiousness of commerce Friedrich Bergmann is the stand out character dominating the novella a typical demanding and outrageous director; often self important and unpredictable but also charming and generous Bergmann’s family are in Austria and this adds to the tension The ongoing human tendency to avoid reality is at the centre But for Isherwood the future was clear“Like all my friends I believed a European war was coming soon I believed as one believes one will die It was unreal because I couldn’t imagine anything beyond it; I refused to imagine anything just as a spectator refuse to imagine what is behind the scenery in the theatre The outbreak of war like the moment of death crossed my perspective of the future like a wall; it marked the instant total end of my imagined world”Isherwood’s description of life in a film studio is also telling;It will interest you as a phenomenon You see the film studio of today is really the palace of the sixteenth century There one sees what Shakespeare saw the absolute power of the tyrant the courtiers the flatterers the jesters the cunningly ambitious intriguers There are fantastically beautiful women there are incompetent favourites There are great men who are suddenly disgraced There is a most insane extravagance and unexpected parsimony over a few pence There is enormous splendour which is a sham; and also horrible sualor hidden behind the scenery There are vast schemes abandoned because of some caprice There are secrets which everybody knows and no one speaks of There are even one or two honest advisers These are the court fools who speak the deepest wisdom in puns lest they should be taken seriously They grimace and tear their hair privately and weep The novel drifts along at a good pace very enjoyable until the last ten pages and they are brilliant; Isherwood at his best There is a coded description of his love life and then there is this;There is one uestion that we seldom ask each other directly it is too brutal And yet it is the only uestion worth asking our fellow travellers What makes you go on living Why don't you kill yourself Why is all this bearable What makes you bear itCould I answer that uestion about myself No Yes Perhaps I supposed vaguely that it was a kind of balance a complex of tensions”This is a little gem of a novel

characters Prater Violet

Summary Prater Violet ò PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ ➵ Prater Violet Download ➾ Author Christopher Isherwood – Prater Violet is the most charming novel I have read in a long time —Diana TrillingOriginally published in 1945 Christopher Isherwood's Prater Violet is a stingingly satirical novThe s The novel features vivid portraits of the imperious passionate and witty Austrian director Friedrich Bergmann and his disciple a genial young screenwriter the fictionalized Christopher Isherwood. Isherwood himself in the novel as novice scriptwriter and his new acuaintance the German film director Bergmann during their first lunch with the studio head ChatsworthThe cigar somehow completed Chatsworth As he puffed it he seemed to grow larger than life size His pale eyes shone with a prophetic light‘For years I’ve had one great ambition You’ll laught at me Everybody does They say I’m crazy But I don’t care’He paused Then announced solemnly ‘Tosca With Garbo’Bergmann turned and gave me a rapid enigmatic glance Then he exhaled with such force that Chatsworth’s cigar smoke was blown back around his head Chatsworth looked pleased Evidently this was the right kind of reaction‘Without music of course I’d do it absolutely straight’ He paused again apparently waiting for our protest There was noneVery funny and very sad In the mid30s Bergmann has fled to Vienna with his family leaving all his money and possessions in Nazi Germany He’s come to England in 1938 to prostitute his art in directing a corny musical Prater Violet leaving his wife and daughter in Vienna he needs the money Mid film the Germans take over Austria Bergmann already as amazed and frustrated as Zweig was that these English can’t see the evil and duplicity of Hitler is frantic about his familyAll Bergmann’s pent up anxiety exploded ‘The picture I s upon the picture This heartless filth This wretched lying charade To make such a picture at such a moment is definitely heartless It is a crime It definitely aids Dollfuss and Starhemberg and Fey and all their gangsters It covers up the dirty syphilitic sore with rose leaves with the petals of this hypocritical reactionary violet It lies and declares that the pretty Danube is blue when the water is red with bloodI am punished for assisting at this lie We shall all be punished’I had just spent two days at the Deutsches Historiches Museum in Berlin when I found this in an charity shop Two days and much recent reading submerged in images of the two world wars and the stories of the people who started and suffered from them Touring the gleaming new glass dome of the Reichstag that replaces the one damaged in the probably Nazi set fire of 1933 and again later in the Allied bombing So this felt like a continuation of living as much in the last century as in this one Our horrific news from Sudan and Yemen and Afghanistan mirrored by news from Belgium and Austria and Poland andpeople continuing to make movies like take your pickIsherwood wrote or at least published this right after the war and his Bergmann predicts all the disaster that looms in front of Europe That part of the story is icy and fierce But it is just as much a droll send up of the movie business filled at the top with crass but cagy executives assisted by Cambridge boys with amused well paid nonchalance and staffed by skilled crew members uickly but individually sketched The writing is excellent until the last two or three pages when Isherwood inexplicably devolves into a personal remembrance that melts away the power of his story So definitely read it to page 98 and then stop

Christopher Isherwood å 6 Summary

It centers around the production of the vacuous fictional melodrama Prater Violet set in nineteenth century Vienna providing an ironic counterpoint to tragic events as Hitler annexes the real Vienna of. This is one of my favorite books My uncle gave me a copy when I was in high school and I have re read it every couple years ever sinceIsherwood is better known for Berlin Stories a semi autobiographical work on pre Nazi Germany which became the basis for CabaretPrater Violet is a semi autobiographical account of the young Isherwood was hired to write the screenplay for a relentlessly fluffy Ruritanian musical comedy Prater Violet to be shot in London in 1934The director Friedrich Bergmann is a Jewish intellectual who has left his family back in Austria Upon first meeting Isherwood Bergmann remarks I am sure we shall be very happy together You know already I feel absolutely no shame before you We are like two married men who meet in a whorehousePrater Violet the novel is largely a character study of Bergmann who sees both the tragedy and absurdity of his situation pouring his energy into a ridiculous comedy while danger looms over his family and the world It is also uite genuinely a hilarious backstage comedy about filmmaking so the movie within the book and the book itself are perfect reflections of each other The character sketches are dead on and the prose is marvelousIf that was all the book was I would have liked it a lot But it's than that I'll put what made me fall in love with it and makes it endlessly re readable behind a cut It's not a plot twist in any conventional sense but it did surprise me I'd love to keep it a surprise to allow you to discover it for yourselfSince I know what you're all thinking nobody in the book dies in the Holocaust or dies at all It's surprising for stylistic and thematic reasonsview spoilerAll through the book we learn a great deal about Bergmann but less of Isherwood He turns his observant eye on others but not himself An early line in Berlin Stories is I am a camera with its shutter open uite passive recording not thinkingIn the very last pages of the book Isherwood lets us catch a glimpse of his life his self his soul and what his relationship with Bergmann really means to him After an entire book skating over bright surfaces striped with dark shadows it's like a sudden plunge into deep waters startling and revelatory and beautifulThe last page returns to the original tone sparkling and funny and understated But now we know what was beneath what is always beneath all our surface interactions and appearances and silly projects and casual chat The actual text is a letter from a friend about how much audiences are enjoying Prater Violet and snubbing a politically superior and very serious indeed Soviet movie about the proletariatThe very last line informs us that Bergmann moved to America with his family The implication is that the success of Prater Violet got him a Hollywood job and so enabled him and his family to escape the Holocaust The silly comedy that Bergmann reluctantly poured his creative energies into didn't turn out to be a great work of art But it did save livesThose last few pages together with the rest of the book suggests to me that the frustratingly absurd shallow everyday work and interactions are also necessary and important Though Bergmann and Isherwood discuss serious things their relationship is built not only on that but on sharing the absurdities of Hollywood and writing their fluffy movie Similarly the sparkling body of the book is what makes the depth of the climax work hide spoiler