“Like the poetry and philosophy of William Blake, Katsaropoulos has mastered his craft and elevates our mind, our spirit, our thirst for meaning that is so often pushed aside in contemporary literature. Entrevoir is an exceptionally fine work, and highly recommended.” ~ Grady Harp, Literary Aficionado
‘It exists. It lifts him up, to the top of that mountain, up and out of himself’
Review by Grady Harp
‘Reading’ is the wrong verb to describe coming into the presence of the words of Chris Katsaropoulos on the pages of his new novel ENTREVOIR. Stepping into his creation of pages is an experience the likes of which we rarely encounter. He ignites a quiet flame of an idea, protects it with story – touching real credible situational details – and pulls his palms away from the fragile flicker to let the themes and melodies and images and flights of thought to disambiguate as he accompanies us on an enlightening journey of philosophy.
The themes of Chris’ books each focus on a field of thought in which he seems completely informed: in FRAGILE he immerses his reader in psychology – the realignment of fractured characters; in ANTIPHONY his starting point is physics and suggests an untested view of the universe; in UNILATERAL he unveils the effects of war on people coming together; in COMPLEX KNOWING he makes the realm of the subconscious into poems; in ENTREVOIR he embraces philosophy with the theme of created art as the guide. Like all of his works, this new book thrusts us into thought patterns that blaze trails of original ideas, not lectured, not pontificated, but bathing us with ideas of the meaning of being few of us have explored so intensely.
In attempting to discuss this luminous book it is best, possibly, to first offer the brief ‘synopsis’ to align the reader with where Chris is taking us. Jacob Marstellar is a gifted artist, a man whose successful career began as a figurative painter but who found the language from brush through pigment to canvas limiting and he chose to embrace conceptual art – and his drive is to create work about light. In this new vein he has been highly esteemed, but he longs to take his art further than the money, the applause of his critics and collectors. Jacob travels with his wife Mayra and teenage children to a rock peak of a village in Southern France, a place called Entrevoir (translated, ‘a brief glimpse’) and there, away from galleries, critics, and viewers and to Marya’s chagrin he creates a conceptual work he calls Entrevoir – ‘a work of art that will enable human beings to see the face of God.’. For Jacob the experience is a mission, a destiny he must follow. As the unveiling is scheduled to begin Jacob has an out of body experience and it is that experience or revelation or coming into the meaning of the universe that spills over the pages of this splendid novel. Jacob enters ‘another dimension, where he becomes the watcher, the witness, and experiencer of lives he lived six decades ago and thousands of years ago, on other planets and as the highest forms of life. In the span of one instant and over the course of millions of years, Jacob comes to understand that he is not his body, he is not his mind, and he is not even his soul. By the end of the amazing unveiling of Jacob’s true self, he will experience the greatest transfiguration any human being has ever known: the realization of the ultimate nature of human life, and of spirit itself.’
The journey to which we are invited is sculpted with mythology, astrology, philosophy, the implosion of the universe, music, art, transcendental variations, brushes with existentialism – every path toward discovering the meaning of life, of being – and ultimately Light.
Having read all of Chris’ novels and published poetry, this reviewer once commented, ‘Chris Katsaropoulos’ mind is so attuned to poetry, classical music, metaphysics, physics, science in general and man’s search for meaning that his book has portions, not unlike cadenzas in a piano concerto where the artist takes a pause from the orchestral score to expound on a note or phrase or thought that shows muscular and spiritual dexterity before returning to the work as a whole, that sing like few other authors can write. It is this gift that Katsaropoulos displays in this masterful work: while weaving a richly imaginative story he perseverates on a thought, relishing the character’s time and the reader’s indulgence to delve deeply into thoughts not usually found within the covers of a novel.’
Reading ENTREVOIR (there is so much information about this work in the art on the book’s cover that gradually reveals as you read), thoughts of the art and poetry and philosophy of William Blake (1757 – 1827) who said, ‘I know that our deceased friends are more really with us than when they were apparent to our mortal part. Thirteen years ago I lost a brother, and with his spirit I converse daily and hourly in the spirit, and see him in my remembrance, in the region of my imagination. I hear his advice, and even now write from his dictate.’ enter the arena. And like the at times enigmatic Blake, Chris has mastered his craft and elevates our mind, our spirit, our thirst for meaning that is so often pushed aside in contemporary literature. An exceptionally fine work, and highly recommended.