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A Palace of Strangers Is No City

A Palace of Strangers Is No City

(Duplicated CD)
  • By STEPHEN FRECH
  • Release 10/10/2013
  • Media Format CD
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CD 
Price: $16.43

Product Notes

A Palace of Strangers Is No City tells the story of two lovers on opposite sides of an occupied city. The male character, having narrowly escaped the random police arrests, is now officially a fugitive and flees to his fiancée's house by going through Old Town. That medieval city center, with it's tangle of streets, becomes the primary setting of the story and the meditative landscape of the character's flight. Full of questions about whom to trust, what to believe, and making use of a highly unusual second-person narrator, the sequence feels dreamlike and surreal. Written in the traditions of fabulist literature and prose poetry, the sequence hybridizes the narrative, discursive tendencies of prose with the imagistic, elliptical tendencies of poetry. In other words, the prose poem can often read like a dream: it moves along like a story in which strange, unexpected things can happen, and they feel quite natural. The city has been loosely modeled on Prague and the sequence includes lines from Czech opera, so the arrangement alternates with musical excerpts from Czech composer Leoš Janácek's On An Overgrown Path. On An Overgrown Path, a collection of 15 piano pieces, was composed during the first decade of the 20th century. It displays influences of Moravian folk songs and is programmatic: the first ten pieces each have a title that describes a place, a state of mind, or an action. Besides providing miniature snapshots of Janácek's native region, Moravia, these pieces are also very personal, transcending national boundaries with their quiet beauty and lyricism. (Stephen Frech & Chung-Ha Kim) 'Stephen Frech in his sequence of prose poems called A Palace of Strangers Is No City gives us a Kafkaesque world, signaled by the very first poem that ends with the frightening uncertainty of whether an unknown "you" is having a carrousel maker's dream, or whether the carrousel maker is having a dream of the "you." [...] There are of course many fine works that have dealt with imaginary and oppressive landscapes, but what makes Frech's book wonderfully creepy is that the oppression is so deeply existential. [...] Another prose sequence, Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities comes to mind, and with Frech's mastery of the prose poem, it's not an exaggeration to say A Palace of Strangers Is No City ranks with that masterpiece.' ~Peter Johnson, from the Introduction 'A Palace of Strangers Is No City is a one-of-a-kind experience. In just twenty-two elegant pages it contains an epic journey across an imagined city. The happenings in this city are surreal, ominous, funny and vivid. The circumstances may be dreamlike, but the longing and the wisdom are entirely real.' ~John Dalton, author of Heaven Lake.

Details

Title: A Palace of Strangers Is No City
Release Date: 10/10/2013
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 884501995795
Item #: 877985X
This product is a special order