Thursday, July 21, 2011

Disparate Outcomes

I completed The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks last weekend after another Holy Shit moment at the library book sale. as I noted elsewhere, a different Iain, but just as Macabre. This first novel is a piece of Grisly Perfection.

That was followed with my reading of Frederic Morton's Nervous Splendor which surveys of the Hapsburg Crown Prince Rudolf and the fate of Vienna and many of its noted artists and intellectuals. This reminded me of Solomon Volkov's cultural history of St. Petersburg, which is not a compliment. The opening chapters scour the diaries of Mahler, Freud and others while peeking back at Rudolf, likely already doomed in his own mind, but such is speculation. That's my point, the entire book is flimsy biography gelled with speculation


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