The themes of alienation, abandonment, and fear of death, developed in Like Blood in Water and elaborated in The Future of Giraffes, the first and second books of The Placebo Effect Trilogy, are picked up in the third book, View of Delft, and are given a new treatment in German context. A neurotic intellectual lets himself be adopted by a couple with a son with Down syndrome to escape the stress of being normal. Another man searches so desperately for a meaning in life he becomes mad in the end. The son of a suicidal Prussian Junker family becomes obsessed with an albino boy, thinking he has caused his death. Love between two people is shown to be as transient as a cloud. And a traveler accidentally finds himself in a hospital/boarding school where they teach the residents how to die.
The five mininovels that make up View of Delft, as is the case with its two companions, all employ negative text-gaps of vital information which the reader is obliged to supply himself. By bringing personal experience into the story, the reader makes it more vivid and real, becoming in the process its co-author together with the author of the text.
About the Author
Yuriy Tarnawsky has authored some three dozen books of fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and translations in Ukrainian and English, including the novels Meningitis, and Three Blondes and Death, the collections of short fictions Short Tails and Crocodile Smiles, The Placebo Effect Trilogy collection of interrelated mininovels Like Blood in Water, The Future of Giraffes, and View of Delft, the novels Warm Arctic Nights and The Iguanas of Heat, the play Not Medea, a volume of Heuristic poetry Modus Tollens, and the book of essays Claim to Oblivion. He was born in Ukraine, but was raised and educated in the West. An engineer and linguist by training, he has worked as a computer scientist, specializing in Artificial Intelligence, at IBM Corporation and as a professor of Ukrainian literature and culture at Columbia University. For his contribution to Ukrainian literature, in 2008, he was awarded the Prince Yaroslav the Wise Order of Merit by Ukrainian government. He resides with his wife Karina in the New York City metropolitan area.