Caracole by Edmund White

By Edmund White

In French caracole capability "prancing"; in English, "caper." either phrases completely describe this high-spirited erotic experience. In Caracole, White invents a complete international the place nation gentry languish in decaying mansions and foppish intellectuals trade fans and gossip in an occupied urban that resembles either Paris lower than the Nazis and Nineteen Eighties big apple. To that urban comes Gabriel, an ungainly boy from the provinces whose social naïveté and sexual ardor make him perpetually beautiful to numerous consumers and paramours.

"A seduction via language, a masque with out mask, Caracole brings again to startling lifestyles a dormant pressure in critical American writing: the assumption of the romantic."--Cynthia Ozick

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Sample text

Brice: (Angrily) Mr Hodge! Look to your honour, sir! If you cannot attend to me without this foolery, nominate your second who might settle the business as between gentlemen. No doubt your friend Byron would do you the service. ) Septimus: Oh yes, he would do me the service. ) Sir -I repent your injury. You are an honest fellow with no more malice in you than poetry. Chater: (Happily) Ah well! - that is more like the thing! ) Is he apologizing? Brice: There is still the injury to his conjugal property, Mrs Chater'sChater: Tush, sir!

There is a duel. Chater dead, Byron fled! P. s. , the widow married her ladyship's brother! Do you honestly think no one wrote a word? How could they not! It dropped from sight but we will write it again! Hannah: You can, Bernard. I'm not going to take any credit, I haven't done anything. (The same thought has clearly occurred to Bernard. ) Bernard: Well, that's - very fair - generous Hannah: Prudent. Chater could have died of anything, anywhere. ) Bernard: But he fought a duel with Byron! Hannah: You haven't established it was fought.

Septimus: Your translation is quite like Chater. ) Thomasina: I know who it is, it is your friend Byron. Septimus: Lord Byron, if you please. Thomasina: Mama is in love with Lord Byron. Septimus: (Absorbed) Yes. Nonsense. Thomasina: It is not nonsense. I saw them together in the gazebo. ) Lord Byron was reading to her from his satire, and mama was laughing, with her head in her best position. Septimus: She did not understand the satire, and was showing politeness to a guest. Thomasina: She is vexed with papa for his determination to alter the park, but that alone cannot account for her politeness to a guest.

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