Category: Book Reviews
An emerging Beat era Masterpiece by Wulf Zendik
The book is called "a Quest Among the Bewildered" by Wulf Zendik.
Set in both the Hollywood Hills and the Left Bank of Paris (where Zendik moved in 1958 to be with his lover, a French ballerina), the story told here is, above all else, personal. Zendik wrote not as a detached observer, but as a man willing to get himself dirty, willing to admit to his own unresolved contradictions. This constant struggle—which echoes throughout the book—brings a level of intimacy that is shocking but never sensationalistic, and gives Quest an enduring sense of humanity, even as it bristles with palpable rage.
I'd like to encourage any readers out there interested in this type of thing to feed back to me about either the book or the author (web links below).
"a Quest Among the Bewildered" by Wulf Zendik.
This is an unusual book and comes from a brilliant writer. It was written in 1957-58 while he lived on the left bank in Paris and also Laurel Canyon in California. Recorded at the artistic height of the Beat Generation, this semi-autobiographical book is a compilation of Wulf's observations about the artists scene and the circles he traveled in, himself and his relationships, love and sex – accompanied by beautiful and razor-edged critical and philosphical cultural commentaries.
The book is somewhat of a historical document, a memoir of the artists' scene in Hollywood and Paris as well as a ruthless take on Wulf himself, women he knew, romance, sex, love, the culture of the day, and the problems of humanity - as well as the humor in humanity's foibles. He was a poet and also a musician, and writing was his way of staying sane in an insane world and processing his feelings. He was also a talented mechanic, built hot-rod engines, and his mind worked that way, very mechanical. He wanted desperately to really figure out why things turn out the way they do with people. That's a large part of who he was as a writer, and why the book is semi auto-biographical.
Wulf was deeply influenced by Henry Miller's work. Essays from "Wisdom From the Heart" (pub. 1941) inspired him to drop his 'normal' life and become a writer. The riveting free-form narrative and prose poetry in "a Quest Among the Bewildered" (his first full length work) reflects Miller's influence on him as an artist and a man.
a brief author bio at: http://zendik.org/questfiles/QABwulf_bio.html.
Submitted by lisa macguire, posted on Tuesday January 21, @10:46PM