A Perfect Madness (continued)
Marsh certainly has the credentials to back up his views. He holds a Ph.D in philosophy, with concentration in bioethics, from the University of Tennessee College of Law, and practiced law in Tennessee for many years. Through a senior Fulbright scholarship, Marsh made his way to Prague for the first time to study, as well as explore the city—and it was here he discovered the setting for his book, embraced the local culture, and met people who would inspire to him develop the central characters. “The Jewish women of Prague were particularly strong,” he recalls of his time there. They told him tales of Jewish female spies, working for the allies in the former Czechoslovakia. “…And the German physicians are stiff and formal as you might expect,” he says. Marsh heard them lecture at the University in Prague, and though their views are, thankfully, very different now, their demeanor is much the same.
Marsh’s impressions of the strong local women in Prague influenced his creation of Julia, a Jewish medical student in Prague, and the protagonist of A Perfect Madness, who is bold and faithful in the midst of adversity. Eric, the male lead, a German national completing his residency in Prague, is brilliant and talented, but not as stoic as his counterpart.
Through the characters and their action, Marsh weaves Shakespearean themes into the text. However, unlike in Romeo and Juliet, the fate of star-crossed lovers, Eric and Julia, is not only impacted by their families’ backgrounds, but by the social upheaval of the impending war itself. They stand on opposite sides of a line drawn by nation-states and tyrants—the very same tyrants who spread their madness and their obsession with genetic perfection throughout Europe.
The classical dialogue between fate and free will is at work here, and elevates the book to the level of a true tragedy, the tragedy of human blindness. It reveals our blindness to the misuse of science, our blindness to our intolerance, and our blindness to the possibility of love that heals madness, that restores sanity and peace. And Marsh ties all those disparate aspects together with engaging craft and an empathic voice.
Combining social criticism, history, bioethical theory, and classic literature, Frank Marsh has created a novel rich in literary depth, as well as insightful in criticism about the danger of using science to ill ends.
Frank Marsh was a trial attorney for twenty-five years and then a university professor of philosophy, law, and bioethics. He has published six books on bioethics, numerous articles, and scripted documentaries dealing with medicine, genetics, and law. He also is the author of the novel Rebekka’s Children, and is currently working on a third novel about a group of workmen who discover a perfectly preserved infant in an ancient jar.
A Perfect Madness (ISBN 978-0-9838264-3-9) Paperback, $15.95 is available from the publisher, amazon, and barnes and noble. For more information, contact the publisher.
Copyright 2017, Pleasant Living Magazine LLC
The Rivers Run Through Us
Web Hosting by Bluehost