Prater Violet ~ Christopher Isherwood

► door: A.IJ. van den Berg

I liked this one the best out of the three Isherwood Books I read this week. Maybe because it is more humorous than the others, or perhaps because it is the shortest book with the best paced writing. It could also be I relate better to this story, having worked closely to several strong characters myself.

Prater Violet is a short book about the filming of the musical with the same name. That story in the story takes place in the Vienna Prater, though the shooting is done in a ramshackle London studio complex. Director of the movie is the main character of this book: Friedrich Bergmann. A middle-european Jew, with wife and children in troubled Vienna, though it was still a couple of years before Austria would go ‘Heim ins Reich’.

Bergmann is a creative genius, and the Christopher Isherwood in the book is hired as his assistant, mainly because he speaks German. They never quarrel, though Bergmann has his troubles with anyone else involved in the film production. Nevertheless, of course, the film gets made and is a success. Still, the Isherwood in the book claims he never got around to see it.

Christopher Isherwood, Prater Violet
112 pages
Minerva reprint 1991, 1945 originally