A Boy's Own Story: A Novel by Edmund White

By Edmund White

Initially released in 1982 because the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's personal Story turned an rapid vintage for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The book's unnamed narrator, turning out to be up in the course of the Nineteen Fifties, is beset through aloof mom and dad, a merciless sister, and incessant mocking from his friends, compelling him to find artworks and literature as solace-and to discover new relationships within the fight to embody his personal sexuality. Lyrical and poignant, with robust evocations of disgrace and craving, this is often an American literary treasure.

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In nineteenth-century Vienna, a drama of affection, destiny, and should is performed out amid the highbrow ferment that outlined the period. Josef Breuer, one of many founding fathers of psychoanalysis, is on the top of his occupation. Friedrich Nietzsche, Europe's maximum thinker, is on the point of suicidal depression, not able to discover a remedy for the complications and different illnesses that plague him.

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This talky first novel through psychotherapist Yalom ( Love's Executioner ) is determined in 1882 Vienna, the place Joseph Breuer, an eminent health care professional and mentor of Sigmund Freud, has utilized his lately chanced on conversing treatment to a girl bothered with a number of signs of tension. yet now it's Breuer who wishes support, for he has turn into enthusiastic about the gorgeous Anna O. even supposing she is not any longer his sufferer. On holiday in Venice, he's requested through Lou Salome, an imperious Russian lady, to regard German thinker Friedrich Nietzsche, who has threatened suicide as a result of her rejection. Nietzsche consults Breuer in Vienna and, after a sequence of sophisticated subterfuges, concurs to a month of day-by-day conferences; Breuer's plan is to hire the conversing remedy at the bristling Nietzsche less than the guise of having the thinker to assist him together with his personal obsession and similar melancholy. during this clever, absolutely imagined story, Yalom competently inspires the encapsulated global of Breuer and Nietzsche's classes in addition to the social and highbrow milieu of the interval, however the narrative is restricted by way of an excessive amount of telling (``Perhaps desires can convey both needs or fears,'' Freud observes in a dialogue with Breuer)--at the rate of showing--and a manipulated, unconvincing answer. significant ad/promo; writer journey. (Aug. )

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Additional resources for A Boy's Own Story: A Novel

Example text

He made a sort of keening noise and seemed to try to straighten out, then gasped and curled up again. ‘Thanks,’ he said. It sounded 30 like his teeth were clenched. ’ He paused for breath. ‘Felt more like a . . ’ ‘Actually you’re right, it was more like a kick. I’m so sorry. ’ He might have nodded. ’ ‘Scrabbles. She’s never done that before. ’ ‘Really’ Each of his words sounded clipped, bitten off. ‘Yah. ’ ‘Uh–huh. Well,’ he said, ‘you’re not really,’ he took another shuddering breath, ‘meant to bring horses’ – one more breath, wheezing – ‘into a kitchen garden,’ he told her.

The fox took a delicate sniff, then looked up at him again. He was about out now, the stream of pee falling back and breaking up. He smiled at the animal and shrugged. The fox trotted round and past him, head slightly down, giving him one last glance before it disappeared round the other end of the caravan. He hadn’t ever mentioned this to anybody, not even to the guys the next morning. It wasn’t all that remarkable, anyway – they saw deer and squirrels all the time and sometimes stoats and wild cats and pine martens – but it was something he wanted to keep to and for himself.

Now Lydcombe had become the place to go on holiday to, rather than the place to go on holiday from; a destination, temporary and somehow conditional. The first time they went back, he noticed that the half–dozen or so of Andy’s paintings that had been left behind, a present to the house and its new inhabitants, had all been 37 shifted, consigned to bedrooms rather than left in public spaces. If Andy was bothered by this, he didn’t say. He had visited the estate with his mum and dad and sister Cory every year since the great move to Richmond, sometimes stopping for a week or two, sometimes just staying overnight, but he could only barely remember Sophie.

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