NOTES FROM A BOTTLE FOUND ON A BEACH AT CARMEL by

NOTES FROM A BOTTLE FOUND ON A BEACH AT CARMEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

There are two ways of looking at Notes From a Bottle, Evan Connell's avant-garde entry into that no man's land between prose and poetry. One is to find in it a spectacular journey embracing human history, especially via anthropology and psychology, whereby an Einsteinian time realm inundates us simultaneously with medieval saints or martyrs, the age of exploration and the age of Hiroshima, Kublai Khan and Pius VI, the holy Vedas and Buchenwald horrors etc., etc., all these as singularly significant figures of the imagination embodying the social-spiritual crises of our time, also etc., etc. The other way is to see in it only as an assemblage of vaguely vers libre ottings, done in the tradition of Eliot's Waste Land and Pound's Cantos, but whereas these are strikingly constructed works infused with a profound persuasion and personality, Notes at the bottom of its bottle is merely a dip-in-here, dip-on-there amorphous anthology of esoterica. Says collage-happy Connell: ""Mirabile visu! Is it not marvelous to see and to relate?"" Maybe. But is it really marvelous to pass off one's scholarly gleanings as a major oeuvre? Few will say yes.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1963
Publisher: Viking