By Daniel Mendelsohn
Hailed for its searing emotional insights, and for the staggering originality with which it weaves jointly own historical past, cultural essay, and readings of classical texts by means of Sophocles, Ovid, Euripides, and Sappho, The Elusive Embrace is a profound exploration of the mysteries of identity. It can be a meditation within which the writer makes use of his personal divided lifestyles to enquire the "rich conflictedness of things," the double lives we all lead.
Daniel Mendelsohn recollects the deceptively quiet suburb the place he grew up, torn among his mathematician father's pursuit of medical fact and the beautiful lies spun via his Orthodox Jewish grandfather; the streets of manhattan's most recent "gay ghetto," the place "desire for romance" competes with "love of desire;" and the quiet moonlit residence the place a detailed friend's small son teaches him the that means of fatherhood. And, ultimately, in a missed Jewish cemetery, the writer uncovers a family mystery that unearths the common want for storytelling, for inventing myths of the self. The ebook that Hilton Als calls "equal to Whitman's 'Song of Myself,'" The Elusive Embrace marks a blinding literary debut.
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Extra info for The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity
The photo of the lifeless woman urged to me, at an early age, the ability of pictures to rouse a hope that could by no means be fulfilled. i do know a guy, a good-looking younger guy with an agile brain and an excellent expert profession, who has intercourse with a distinct stranger each evening, if in any respect attainable. He logs directly to AOL or is going on a talk line and talks to the boys in those areas, and virtually unavoidably a type of males will make the journey to my friend’s small apartment—my buddy won't go back and forth to different people’s houses—and have very pleasant intercourse with him. My good friend is nice at intercourse the way in which that stable chefs are strong at cooking; he considers what's ahead of him and works wonders with it. He works slowly, and with a self-assurance so profound that it transcends self-importance, to make you've got a great time; he enjoys the concept that he's anyone who can do this for you. in the event you depart his condominium, spent and susceptible, he'll probably give you his quantity, and he desires to see you're taking it, fold it on your pocket and confirm you’ve now not misplaced it, as a result of direction (unless you have already got a lover, which a number of the humans on AOL and at the mobilephone chat traces do)—of path you need to see this candy and clever and good-looking and expert lover back. As you allow his house, he supplies he'll name you. after all he by no means does. i've got met humans, strangers at dinner events or pals of buddies, who've printed, as conversations movement towards intercourse or boyfriends or loneliness, the topics that lengthy homosexual dinner events necessarily contact on, that they’ve met my buddy, have left his condo together with his mobile quantity and feature attempted to determine him back; yet he by no means sees an analogous boy two times. they appear confused, seeing that he appeared so great, so wanting to see them back, yet they're puzzled simply because they don't know what i do know, and my friend’s different acquaintances be aware of, that is that what he lives for, what makes intercourse fascinating and compelling to him, is the novelty of every accomplice, the fun he studies as soon as he is familiar with he has made a seduction. I frequently examine those males leaving his condo, hopeful, and while i believe of this what i'm seeing is the excited gleam in my friend’s eyes, the glimmer of the convinced wisdom that he has them, has them extra absolutely than for the time being while he was once on most sensible of or at the back of or beside or inside of them. My pal by no means talks approximately all this, yet after all many folks who recognize him understand it’s actual simply because we seek advice from one another and since no less than a few of us have made the journey as much as his small darkish condo. What we all know, these people who've controlled to prevent eager to be sought after by way of him, is that after he isn't online or at the cellphone with strangers drawing them to him, he's at trendy dinners or golf equipment downtown or openings at galleries with a number of folks, and he'll spend loads of time puzzling over, certainly and with a few warmth, why he has no boyfriend. “I’m a catch,” he as soon as complained at a cafe in SoHo. “Why can’t i am getting a date? ” i need to condescend to my buddy, partially in revenge for his now not desirous to see me again—for in fact i used to be a type of who went to his place—and in part simply because condescension could enable me to suppose improved to him.