Because Samuel and Miranda aren’t genuine figures, once they settle to the quasi-symposium that in Aciman’s worldview could be the natural prelude to intercourse, their rapport doesn’t quite band true. That is astonishing, because frequently those symposiums work with Aciman even though they ought ton’t.

Almost all of Aciman’s characters talk in philosophical paragraphs that aren’t supposed to resemble normal speech that is human so much as create the opportunity for Aciman to throw ideas around: In Aciman’s novels, discourse is really what produces the likelihood for intercourse, so intercourse is often both preceded and accompanied by debates about eros and art and also the human anatomy.

And Aciman generally writes those debates with an endearing neglect for the guidelines of emotional realism like “show don’t tell. ” All of Aciman’s characters know exactly how they feel at any given moment and are more than happy to explain it to one another in exacting, precise detail with the occasional exception of Oliver. (more…)

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