Played out against the backdrop of Paris before the start of the First World War, Tarr tells the blackly comic story of the lives and loves of two artists - the English enfant terrible Frederick Tarr, and the middle-aged German Otto Kreisler, a failed painter who finds himself in a widening spiral of militaristic self-destruction. When both become interested in the same tw...more
The author of a st ...more
Yet, the novel succeeds on its own terms. Lewis's puerile Nietzscheanism blares from ...more
It is notable that Otto Kreisler is somewhat more developed as a character than the eponymous Tarr, whose appearances in the first part (called "Ove ...more
Who is Tarr, and what does the title of the book has to do with the semi-protagonist?
Another question that puzzles me is that the book starts of so hype, we get introduced to
characters that are hard to analyze, and to understand. Lewis' "Tarr" is a good work of literature
but also a very strange one. I feel that eventhough Lewis paints a picture of a delusional
Kreisler, he Kreisler is the only charcter in Le ...more
It's just as trivial as it is complicated.
It can be viewed as an ode to male vanity, of a man who wants to seem more nobel than he is, or as a philosophical novel. The philisophical novel simply displaying the common views of its time, or a nove showing a unique individual position of the author. His position is shown through his characters' opinions and long dialogues about art and life. At the same time, those characters live human lives, they eat, they drink, ...more
This was a new author for me. It turns out that the author was famous for his contributions to a variety of art movements as well as being a prolific writer – though of unusually obscure works. From the jacket: “Set in contemporary Paris, “Tarr” is the picture of a grotesque world where human relationships are simply fodder for a master race f artists. Lewis inhabits this world himself, writing with the all-powerful – sometimes comic, sometimes bgrutal eye of th ...more
The story that runs throughout is amazing, however obscured it might be by pretentious artistic banter.
Would have been much better if about 50 pages of dull philosophical waxing were cut out. I'm no philistine, but why ruin awesome prose with all that?
Despite all this I really enjoyed it. There is no doubt it is a classic and I'm surprised I haven't heard more about Lewis to begin with.
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Wyndham Lewis
Map of Paris
Appendix: Preface to the 1918 American Edition
Glossary of Foreign Words and Phrases