Prater Violet: A Novel
Originally published in 1945, Christopher Isherwood’sPrater Violet is a stingingly satirical novel about the film industry. It centers around the production of the vacuous fictional melodrama Prater Violet, set in nineteenth-century Vienna, providing anironic counterpoint to tragic events...more
"There is one question that we seldom ask each other directly: it is too brutal. And yet it is the only question 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 it ?
Could I answer that question about myself ? No.
And so Christopher does answer the question/s.
In that lucid, revelatory and directly simple fashion of his. But you will have to read it for yours...more
здесь ишервуд – сам себе альтер эго, который оказывается втянутым в киноисторию и киноиндустрию: из австрии в англии появляется режиссер бергманн, которому поручаю...more
Isherwood is better known for Berlin Stories, a semi-autobiographical work on pre-Nazi Germany which became the basis for Cabaret.
Prater 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 1934.
The director, Friedrich Bergm...more
My experience reading this was moving in that the copy I borrowed from the library happened to have been issued in 1945. It was a very small hardcover edition with very thin pages; the inside cover declared:
THIS IS A WARTIME BOOK
It is manufactured under emergency conditions and...more
The narrator, Christopher Isherwood, who is not the author but is the author, is hired to work on a film that is directed by an Austrian Jew in London during the fall of his country to Hitler. This slim book shows you everything that's wrong and that's right in the times--and tells you all you'll ever need to know about making a movie. The last seven...more
Gripping questions related to the human condition such as love and friendship are explored in more depth on a few pages than they usually are in thick volumes.
Bittersweet truths about who we might...more
First Line: “Mr. Isherwood?”
Yes, the protagonist of this book is Mr. Isherwood himself. Quite unusual, but also quite brilliant. The story takes place in London just before WWII, where Isherwood is working on a screenplay with Friedrich Bergmann. We follow the writing process and part of the movie production of "Prater Violet" – probably inspired of Isherwood’s (i.e. the real Isherwood) own experience as a screenwriter in the 1930s.
The story is also about the friendship between Isherwood and Be...more
I was happily surprised by this book. I mean, I had already read (and loved) The Berlin Novels by Isherwood but I guess I didn't expect so much from this book.
First, it describes the writing of a script (with a very peculiar director) and the making of the movie, set in the 30's in the UK. So it's kind of hilarious and interesting to read, the relationship between the writers and the producers, and the media, and the actors.
But I guess, what's more important is the relationship between th...more
From this single snippet of dialog, we know so much about the pompous director, Chatsworth. He considers himself decadent and a...more
Published by Methuen & Co Ltd
This was my first experience of Christopher Isherwood. Or rather, of his writing. I was well aware of him before now. My close friends had read his work and always talked highly of him. I had seen the movies “Cabaret” (1972) and “A Single Man”(2009) – both of which were based on his novels and both of which I had thoroughly enjoyed. I knew that he was a great friend of the poet W.H. Auden and I knew that Gore Vidal had described him as “The best prose writ...more
I read this just because the other day I ended up watching Christopher and His Kind (this BBC film, you know) just cause I love Matt Smith. And after that I just needed to read something written by Mr. Isherwood (although I couldn't find that book).
The film industry, what was happening in Vienna... It was an interest...more
This is how I felt when I was messaged on OkCupid by my soon-to-be boyfriend.
The book is a casual story with irregular pace. The speed of narration reflects obstacles in the process of creating the film, while touching the issues of social class, Nazism, collective responsibility, and the approaching war. Although Isherwood is the leading character, he is careful not to reveal too much about his personal life, and...more
Isherwood's story centers on the production of the vacuous fictional melodrama Prater Violet, set in 19th-century Vienna, providing ironic counterpoint
to tragic events as Hitler annexes the real Vienna of the 1930s. The novel features the vivid portraits of imperious, passionate, and witty Austrian director
Friedrich Bergmann and his disciple, a genial young screenwri...more
Isherwood was the grandson and heir of a country squire, and his boyhood was privile...more
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That night, I think, he explored the uttermost depths of his loneliness.”