Prologos is Jonathan Bayliss's sparkling, complex, experimental, playful, serious, richly detailed literary masterpiece of the 20th century whose protagonist, Michael Chapman, is the "author" or "controller" of the other three novels in Bayliss's GLOUCESTERMAN tetralogy.
The foreground is California's Bay Area about a decade after the end of World War 2. The background is the pre-war East Coast (Cambridge, Gloucester, Manhattan) and the wartime and post-war Pacific of Chapman's Naval service. Living in Oakland with wife and children, he yearns for the Gloucester that he left as a child, and for the European world he's never seen. He is torn three ways by domestic love, by the practical matters of his livelihood, and by the conflicts of intellectual life.
No one reader will sympathize with all the manias or crochets either of Chapman or of his friend Caleb Karcist. But a thoughtful reading will engage almost anyone's mind with the novel's intellectual departures from traditional narrative.Prologos generates anthropological, economic, technical, and literary ideas from a base of erotic and social realism. This novel is a diamond mine for digging, a sandy stream for panning gold.