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Caracole by Edmund White

By Edmund White

In French caracole ability "prancing"; in English, "caper." either phrases completely describe this high-spirited erotic experience. In Caracole, White invents a complete global the place kingdom gentry languish in decaying mansions and foppish intellectuals trade enthusiasts and gossip in an occupied urban that resembles either Paris below the Nazis and Eighties manhattan. To that urban comes Gabriel, an ungainly boy from the provinces whose social naïveté and sexual ardor make him forever beautiful to quite a few buyers and paramours.

"A seduction via language, a masque with no mask, Caracole brings again to startling existence a dormant pressure in severe American writing: the assumption of the romantic."--Cynthia Ozick

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Well, have no fear, Cassius is an honorable man,” said Hoke and laughed to himself. Cassius took a step toward the shelves as if looking for the book. Hoke watched him indulgently. ” I think I would, Master Hoke. Hoke moved to his bookshelf, his step assured, abounding with pride. For an instant Cassius saw the young Hoke, with power invincible. But perhaps he had never truly possessed that power, perhaps the young Cassius had imposed it upon him. Hoke reached without hesitation toward the shelf that held the Shakespeare volumes, but then his hand hesitated as he did not immediately see Julius Caesar.

I do not know that, Cassius. ” Someone knows, thought Cassius. The one who did it to her knows. But he did not speak these thoughts aloud. Perhaps she had spoken her mind once too often, and that had led to her death. “She was . . she was a damned annoying woman, a prickly, frustrating woman, oh how she could make my life miserable,” said Hoke, and Cassius’s shoulders straightened to hear her spoken of in such a way, but then he recognized the shiver in Hoke’s voice and saw that Hoke had turned toward the window, perhaps to allow himself the indulgence of speaking openly of his grief, for he could do no such thing in front of his wife.

His next words were uttered with renewed strength, charged with his significance. “Now, Cassius. You tell me how you are with this. ” Cassius remembered her small home in town with the two rooms. One wall was taken up with a large hearth that housed a living fire and the smell of the room came to him and he nearly lost his balance. If there is a funeral, I would like to attend, said Cassius. Hoke considered the request. ” Cassius nodded. He knew that Hoke would wait until after Emoline was in the ground and then he would tell Cassius it was too late.

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