Dictation: A Quartet [NOOK Book]

Overview

Ozick’s latest work of fiction brings together four long stories, including the novella-length "Dictation," that showcase this incomparable writer’s sly humor and piercing insight into the human heart. Each starts in the comic mode, with heroes who suffer from willful self-deceit. From self-deception, these not-so-innocents proceed to deceive others, who don’t take it lightly. Revenge is the consequence—and for the reader, a delicious if dark recognition of emotional truth.

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Dictation: A Quartet

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Overview

Ozick’s latest work of fiction brings together four long stories, including the novella-length "Dictation," that showcase this incomparable writer’s sly humor and piercing insight into the human heart. Each starts in the comic mode, with heroes who suffer from willful self-deceit. From self-deception, these not-so-innocents proceed to deceive others, who don’t take it lightly. Revenge is the consequence—and for the reader, a delicious if dark recognition of emotional truth.

The glorious novella "Dictation" imagines a fateful meeting between the secretaries to Henry James and Joseph Conrad at the peak of those authors’ fame. Timid Miss Hallowes, who types for Conrad, comes under the influence of James’s Miss Bosanquet, high-spirited, flirtatious, and scheming. In a masterstroke of genius, Ozick hatches a plot between them to insert themselves into posterity.

Ozick is at her most devious, delightful best in these four works, illuminating the ease with which comedy can glide into calamity.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
Dictation shows that Ozick continues to command her usual mastery of voices and tones…Winter is finally past and with it the season of heavy tomes. As it happens, Cynthia Ozick's slender volume slips nicely into a briefcase or pocketbook. So even if you're not a stenographer, you can take Dictation wherever you go. You'll want to, since it'll be hard to stop reading once you start.
—The Washington Post
Christopher Benfey
In "What Happened to the Baby?"…Uncle Simon (the story is told from his niece's point of view) is the creator of "GNU, the future language of all mankind." Scornful of Esperanto and its creator, the "false messiah" Dr. Zamenhof, Simon wants to push his own universal language "beyond European roots." He has "traveled all over the world, picking up roots and discarding the less common vowels." He has also picked up girls, as his niece discovers. Gradually, she also learns the real reason for Simon's lifelong quarrel with Esperanto, and in doing so she comes to a realization about what unites us all as language-bearers. "Lie, illusion, deception," she asks herself—was that "truly, the universal language we all speak?" She might have given this all-encompassing language a different, more Jamesian name. Call it the "art of fiction," in which Cynthia Ozick, in Dictation: A Quartet, reveals herself a master.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

A carefully honed, sharply intelligent new collection of four stories shows Ozick (The Heir to the Glimmering World) at the height of her stylistic powers. The title story, by far the strongest tale, follows the female secretaries of Henry James and Joseph Conrad, both of whom take dictation from the two egoist titans. When the authors meet in London, their two amanuenses collude to make their own mark on their masters' work; in so doing, they exalt, with an undeniably sexual glee, that they will thus attain immortality. "Actors" looks on wryly as TV character actor Matt Sorley, né Mose Sadacca and nearing 60, reluctantly takes a role that will either cap his career or defeat him. "At Fumicaro" follows an American Catholic literary critic in Mussolini's Italy as he falls head over heels in love with a pregnant 16-year-old peasant girl: "She was more hospitable to God than anyone who hoped to find God in books." The exuberant "What Happened to the Baby?" follows a young college student and her eccentric Esperanto-spouting uncle to his mid-20th-century meetings of the League for a Unified Humanity. Ozick's stories ingeniously put scholarship in the service of human flowerings. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

In her elegant new collection, Ozick (Heir to the Glimmering World) examines with characteristic humor the passions that motivate the human heart and the human foibles that often lead to self-deception and misery. In the wonderfully witty and biting opening novella, "Dictation," Miss Bosanquet and Miss Hallowes, the respective amanuenses of Henry James and Jospeh Conrad at the height of their careers, concoct a marvelous scheme to write themselves into posterity. This novella alone is worth the price of the book for its detailed portrayals of characters and its careful construction of story. "Actors" follows the fortunes of Matt Sorley as he searches for work in New York and eventually is tapped to play Lear in an adaptation of the play that features Lear as a Jewish emigrant. Sorley's production is interrupted by a real Lear-an elderly and quite mad Jewish actor who had performed this role originally many years ago. In "At Fumicaro," an art critic attempts to marry his Italian maid only to realize that she has strung him along to rob him. Finally, in "What Happened to the Baby?" a young girl rehearses the story of her uncle's infidelity and her aunt's Medea-like revenge. Ozick is at the top of her form in these splendid stories, and every library will want a copy. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ2/15/07.]
—Henry L. Carrigan Jr.

Kirkus Reviews
Deceptions and obsessions drive this elegant collection of four stories, three of which have been published in magazines. The fitful friendship of Henry James and Joseph Conrad is the context for the title story, previously unpublished. Their hands cramping, James and Conrad have been forced to dictate their work to stenographers. The stenographers, Theodora Bosanquet (employed by James) and Lilian Hallowes (employed by Conrad), meet by chance at a London club one day in 1910. Theodora, the aggressive one, suggests tea before introducing a bold scheme. Uncommonly well plumped out, the story is a literary jape with a revenge element. Revenge also figures in the contemporary "Actors." Matt Sorley is an elderly New York actor portraying a latter-day Lear in a play. Over the course of the story, he is humiliatingly upstaged by an obsessed figure. "At Fumicaro" is a complete change of pace. Another New Yorker, 35-year-old Frank Castle, bachelor, well-known critic and ardent Catholic, travels to Mussolini's Italy for a conference near Lake Como, and on his fourth day marries a chambermaid. We learn of the marriage upfront; Ozick (Heir to the Glimmering World, 2004, etc.) uses her storyteller's magic to keep us guessing how this "inflamed" bachelor will manage his passion. The last story, "What Happened to the Baby?," is the best, an intricately plotted portrait of a Depression-era married couple in the Bronx who are engaged in a bitter marital struggle. Playful, teasing, provocative fare from this most accomplished of ironists. Agent: Melanie Jackson/Melanie Jackson Agency
From the Publisher
"Deceptions and obsessions drive this elegant collection of four stories...Playful, teasing, provocative fare from this most accomplished of ironists." Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"These novellas are prime examples of Ozick’s rigorous writing style, her propensity for recognizing the element of ridiculousness in human tragedy, and her second-nature sympathy for eccentric characters." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"A carefully honed, sharply intelligent new collection of four stories shows Ozick at the height of her stylistic powers...Ozick's stories ingeniously put scholarship in the service of human flowerings." Publishers Weekly

"Ozick is at the top of her form in these splendid stories, and every library will want a copy. Highly recommended." Library Journal Starred

The Barnes & Noble Review
History, wrote Henry James in a 1910 letter to his amanuensis Theodora Bosanquet, "is strangely written." This casual aside could easily serve as the epigraph of Cynthia Ozick's superb Dictation, which concerns itself with lost worlds evoked by languages -- languages that separate and obscure as readily as they bind. It can be risky to look for connective tissue between stories written years apart and published in magazines ranging from The Conradian to The New Yorker. But themes of deception, posterity, and, above all, the glory of language -- at once malleable and intractable -- knit together this quartet, recasting the whole as the harmonious product of Ozick's formidable talent.

In the mischievously witty title story, Ozick imagines a literary conspiracy engineered by Bosanquet and Joseph Conrad's typist Lillian Hallowes. Thrusting these bit players to center stage, she has fashioned a wry meditation on posterity and its discontents. Of Bosanquet, much is known. Her celebrated pamphlet "Henry James at Work" was published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press. Of Hallowes, a good deal less is known, and although there is no record of their having met, this hasn't stopped Ozick from having her fun. (In a note addressing historical inaccuracies, Ozick declares: "Never mind, says Fiction; what fun, laughs Transgression; so what? mocks Dream.")

And so, it's on a rainy night in January 1910 that the two women meet in the shadow of their masters, as Bosanquet retrieves a forgotten umbrella. ("The forgotten umbrella! Worn device, venerable ruse!" nudges Ozick, echoing both Howards End and James's penchant for melodrama.) Bosanquet convinces a reluctant Hallowes to join her for tea, and the two ladies compare notes. Bosanquet is voluble, rapturous, extolling James's greatness even as she nurses her own ambitions:

We have too much in common. We are in an extraordinary position. Mr. James and Mr. Conrad are men of genius and posterity, and posterity will honor us for being the conduits of genius.
In contrast, the modest Hallowes's devotion to Conrad is animated by a more prosaic motive: Love. A wallflower who lives alone and nurses her invalid mother, Hallowes is a steadfast, long-suffering servant to greatness. It takes patient cultivation for Bosanquet to enlist her reluctant accomplice in her scheme, which calls for each to take a sentence from the stories their masters are presently writing and exchange them, placing each seamlessly in the other's -- the literary equivalent of engraving "Kilroy was here."

Bosanquet finally succeeds, preying on Hallowes's jealousy toward Mrs. Conrad, and thus do "Theodora and Lillian humanly, mindfully, with exacting intent, dictate the outcome of their desires." In the process, Ozick enjoys a double joke -- by the act of writing Dictation she grants these women the posterity that has eluded them, even as Bosanquet's alleged handiwork cannot be easily disproved, as an examination of Conrad's "The Secret Sharer" and James's "The Jolly Corner" attests.

If "Dictation" is the collection's fiery head, "Actors" is its expansive yet elegiac heart, a Borscht Belt tragedy that grieves for lost worlds and laments the inability of language to hold on to the past. Matt Sorley is an aging, out-of-work character actor, more interested in "studying" people than working for them, to the consternation of his wife, Frances, who supports them by creating crossword puzzles. Matt gets a break when he's invited to star in an updated version of King Lear directed by a jeans-and-sweatshirt-wearing wunderkind named Ted Silkowitz, though there's a catch -- the writer has just died and the script is "raw." But that suits Silkowitz's intentions, as he wants to point the title role toward the recesses of the past, evoking the oversized style of Yiddish theatre, a move the less-is-more realist Matt resists. (Ozick is at her Woody Allen funniest in these cross-generational exchanges.) But a visit to the playwright's elderly father -- himself a giant of the Yiddish stage -- unhinges something in Matt. Before long, Matt is "teaching himself to howl," and his heartbreakingly comic apotheosis leaves us with the spectacle of a lost world as foreign to the opening-night audience as the marvelous scratchings -- "metamerism," "oribi," "glyptic" -- that populate Frances's puzzles. Who, Ozick seems to ask, will remain to bear witness to this lost tradition? Who will understand this language?

That question of sustaining tradition also informs "At Fumicaro," the most challenging of the four pieces, in which Ozick turns from her familiar Jewish milieu to Catholic symbolism. Frank Castle, an American Catholic scholar arrives in fascist Italy as part of a conference on "The Church and How It Is Known." In his quarters, Castle finds his chambermaid, Viviana, vomiting violently. Her English is broken: "No belief!" she mutters repeatedly. Despite the difficulty communicating, Castle is drawn to her vulnerability and, to his surprise, he quickly succumbs to temptation:

In less than two hours Frank Castle had become the lover of a child. He had carried her into his bed and coaxed her story from her, beginning with his little finger's trip across her forehead.
Castle learns that Viviana has been impregnated by one of her mother's lovers, and he resolves to marry her and bring her to America. "It was his obeisance. It was what brought him to Italy.... Her tragedy was a commonplace. She was a noisy aria in an eternal opera."

But first Castle must present his paper on evil, on "men and women who had caught sight of demons." And when the conference's last speaker, Percy Nightingale (names do some heavy lifting in this tale), turns up, Castle wonders if he's met evil and is left, aptly, to battle his demons -- coming to understand the nature of his "penance" only at the end of this complex and sometimes opaque tale.

In the final story, "What Happened to the Baby?" -- a sharp and often amusing portrait of la vie de bohème in Greenwich Village -- Ozick again ponders languages and how they separate even those struggling to share meaning. Phyllis, her first-person narrator, sets about unraveling the family mystery surrounding her uncle Simon, the founder and champion of a new language called GNU, conceived in response to Esperanto. Simon is now living in squalor, and Phyllis, newly arrived at NYU, is charged with looking after him, during which time she learns what happened to Simon's long-deceased infant daughter, Retta. What she discovers undermines everything she has been raised to believe about her uncle and his work:

This was the start of Simon's grand scheme -- the letters, the outcries, the feverish heaps of philological papers and books with queer foreign alphabets on their spines. Yet in practice, it was not grand at all; it was extraordinarily simple to execute. Obscure lives inspire no inquisitiveness.
"What Happened to the Baby?" feels like the slightest of the four tales presented here, but that might be merely an accident of juxtaposition, its domestic dramas diminished by the long shadows of the lost worlds evoked by its predecessors. Yet in all four tales, Ozick focuses her abiding intelligence on the limits of understanding and the fungible relationship between words and truth, and so the closing of "What Happened to the Baby?" serves as an effective coda to this meditation on the double edges of language, as Simon's wronged wife inquires, "Lie, illusion, deception, she said -- was that it truly, the universal language we all speak?" --Mark Sarvas

Mark Sarvas's debut novel, Harry, Revised, has been sold in a dozen countries around the world. He is host of the literary blog The Elegant Variation and a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547526058
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/14/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,182,927
  • File size: 131 KB

Meet the Author

Cynthia Ozick

CYNTHIA OZICK is the author of numerous acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. She is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Man Booker International Prize. Her stories have won four O. Henry first prizes.

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Read an Excerpt

ACTORS

Matt Sorley, born Mose Sadacca, was an actor. He was a character actor and (when they let him) a comedian. He had broad, swarthy, pliant cheeks, a reddish widow’s peak that was both curly and balding, and very bright teeth as big and orderly as piano keys. His stage name had a vaguely Irish sound, but his origins were Sephardic. One grandfather was from Constantinople, the other from Alexandria. His parents could still manage a few words of the old Spanish spoken by the Jews who had fled the Inquisition, but Matt himself, brought up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, was purely a New Yorker. The Brooklyn that swarmed in his speech was useful. It got him parts.
Sometimes he was recognized in the street a day or so following his appearance on a television lawyer series he was occasionally on call for. These were serious, mostly one-shot parts requiring mature looks. The pressure was high. Clowning was out, even in rehearsals. Matt usually played the judge (three minutes on camera) or else the father of the murder victim (seven minutes). The good central roles went to much younger men with rich black hair and smooth flat bellies. When they stood up to speak in court, they carefully buttoned up their jackets. Matt could no longer easily button his. He was close to sixty and secretly melancholy. He lived on the Upper West Side in a rent-controlled apartment with a chronic leak under the bathroom sink. He had a reputation for arguing with directors; one director was in the habit of addressing him, rather nastily, as Mr. Surly.
His apartment was littered with dictionaries, phrase books, compendiums of scientific terms, collections of slang, encyclopedias of botany, mythology, history. Frances was the one with the steady income. She worked for a weekly crossword puzzle magazine, and by every Friday had to have composed three new puzzles in ascending order of complexity. The job kept her confined and furious. She was unfit for deadlines and tension; she was myopic and suffered from eyestrain. Her neck was long, thin, and imperious, with a jumpy pulse at the side. Matt had met her, right out of Tulsa, almost twenty years ago on the tiny stage of one of those downstairs cellar theaters in the Village—the stage was only a clearing in a circle of chairs. It was a cabaret piece, with ballads and comic songs, and neither Matt nor Frances had much of a voice. This common deficiency passed for romance. They analyzed their mutual flaws endlessly over coffee in the grimy little cafe next door to the theater. Because of sparse audiences, the run petered out after only two weeks, and the morning after the last show Matt and Frances walked downtown to City Hall and were married.
Frances never sang onstage again. Matt sometimes did, to get laughs. As long as Frances could stick to those Village cellars she was calm enough, but in any theater north of Astor Place she faltered and felt a needlelike chill in her breasts and forgot her lines. And yet her brain was all storage. She knew words like “fenugreek,” “kermis,” “sponson,” “gibberellin.” She was angry at being imprisoned by such words. She lived, she said, behind bars; she was the captive of a grid. All day long she sat fitting letters into squares, scrambling the alphabet, inventing definitions made to resemble conundrums, shading in the unused squares. “Grid and bear it,” she said bitterly, while Matt went out to take care of ordinary household things—buying milk, picking up his shirts from the laundry, taking his shoes to be resoled. Frances had given up acting for good. She didn’t like being exposed like that, feeling nervous like that, shaking like that, the needles in her nipples, the numbness in her throat, the cramp in her bowel. Besides, she was embarrassed about being nearsighted and hated having to put in contact lenses to get through a performance. In the end she threw them in the trash. Off stage, away from audiences, she could wear her big round glasses in peace.
Frances resented being, most of the time, the only breadwinner. After four miscarriages she said she was glad they had no children, she couldn’t imagine Matt as a father—he lacked gumption, he had no get-up- and-go. He thought it was demeaning to scout for work. He thought work ought to come to him because he was an artist. He defined himself as master of a Chaplinesque craft; he had been born into the line of an elite tradition. He scorned props and despised the way some actors relied on cigarettes to move them through a difficult scene, stopping in the middle of a speech to light up. It was false suspense, it was pedestrian. Matt was a purist. He was contemptuous of elaborately literal sets, rooms that looked like real rooms. He believedd that a voice, the heel of a hand, a hesitation, the widening of a nostril, could furnish a stage. Frances wanted Matt to hustle forrrrr jobs, she wanted him to network, bug his agent, follow up on casting calls. Matt could do none of these things. He was an actor, he said, not a goddamn peddler.
It wasn’t clear whether he was actually acting all the time (Frances liked to accuse him of this), yet even on those commonplace daytime errands, there was something exaggerated and perversely open about him: an unpredictability leaped out and announced itself. He kidded with all the store help. At the Korean-owned vegetable stand, the young Mexican who was unpacking peppers and grapefruits hollered across to him, “Hey, Mott, you in a movie now?” For all its good will, the question hurt. It was four years since his last film offer, a bit part with Marlon Brando, whom Matt admired madly, though without envy. The role bought Matt and Frances a pair of down coats for winter, and a refrigerator equipped with an ice-cube dispenser. But what Matt really hoped for was getting back onstage. He wanted to be in a play.

At the shoe-repair place his new soles were waiting for him. The proprietor, an elderly Neapolitan, had chalked Attore across the bottom of Matt’s well- worn slip-ons. Then he began his usual harangue: Matt should go into opera. “I wouldn’t be any good at it,” Matt said, as he always did, and flashed his big even teeth. Against the whine of the rotary brush he launched into “La donna e mobile.” The shoemaker shut off his machine and bent his knees and clapped his hands and leaked tears down the accordion creases that fanned out from the corners of his eyes. It struck Matt just then that his friend Salvatore had the fairy-tale crouch of Geppetto, the father of Pinocchio; the thought encouraged him to roll up the legs of his pants and jig, still loudly singing. Salvatore hiccupped and roared and sobbed with laughter.
Sometimes Matt came into the shop just for a shine. The shoemaker never let him pay. It was Matt’s trick to tell Frances (his awful deception, which made him ashamed) that he was headed downtown for an audition, and wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop first to have his shoes buff ed? The point was to leave a decent impression for next time, even if they didn’t hire you this time. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, buy some shoe polish and do it yourself,” Frances advised, but not harshly; she was pleased about the audition.
Of course there wasn’t any audition—or if there was, Matt wasn’t going to it. After Salvatore gave the last slap of his flannel cloth, Matt hung around, teasing and fooling, for half an hour or so, and then he walked over to the public library to catch up on the current magazines. He wasn’t much of a reader, though in principle he revered literature and worshiped Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. He looked through the Atlantic and Harper’s and The New Yorker, all of which he liked; Partisan Review, Commentary, magazines like that, were over his head.
Sitting in the library, desultorily turning pages, he felt himself a failure and an idler as well as a deceiver. He stared at his wristwatch. If he left this minute, if he hurried, he might still be on time to read for Lionel: he knew this director, he knew he was old-fashioned and meanly slow—one reading was never enough. Matt guessed that Lionel was probably a bit of a dyslexic. He made you stand there and do your half of the dialogue again and again, sometimes three or four times, while he himself read the other half flatly, stumblingly. He did this whether he was seriously considering you or had already mentally dismissed you: his credo was fairness, a breather, another try. Or else he had a touch of sadism. Directors want to dominate you, shape you, turn you into whatever narrow idea they have in their skulls. To a director an actor is a puppet—Geppetto with Pinocchio. Matt loathed the ritual of the audition; it was humiliating. He was too much of a pro to be put through these things, his track record ought to speak for itself, and why didn’t it? Especially with Lionel; they had both been in the business for years. Lionel, like everyone else, called it “the business.” Matt never did.
He took off his watch and put it on the table. In another twenty minutes he could go home to Frances and fake it about the audition: it was the lead Lionel was after, the place was full of young guys, the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Lionel, believe it or not, had apologized for wasting Matt’s time.
“Lionel apologized?” Frances said. Without her glasses on, she gave him one of her naked looks. It was a way she had of avoiding seeing him while drilling straight through him. It made him feel damaged.
“You never went,” she said. “You never went near that audition.” “Yes I did. I did go. That shit Lionel. Blew my whole day.” “Don’t kid me. You didn’t go. And Lionel’s not a shit, he’s been good to you. He gave you the uncle part in Navy Blues only three years ago. I don’t know why you insist on forgetting that.” “It was junk. Garbage. I’m sick of being the geezer in the last act.” “Be realistic. You’re not twenty-five.” “What’s realistic is if they give me access to my range.” And so on. This was how they quarreled, and Matt was pained by it: it wasn’t as if Frances didn’t understand how much he hated sucking up to directors, waiting for the verdict on his thickening fleshy arms, his round stomach, his falsely grinning face, his posture, his walk, even his voice. His voice he knew passed muster: it was like a yo-yo, he could command it to tighten or stretch, to torque or lift. And still he had to submit to scrutiny, to judgment, to prejudice, to whim. He hated having to be obsequious, even when it took the form of jolliness, of ersatz collegiality. He hated lying. His nose was growing from all the lies he told Frances.
On the other hand, what was acting if not lying? A good actor is a good impostor. A consummate actor is a consummate deceiver. Or put it otherwise: an actor is someone who falls into the deeps of self-forgetfulness. Or still otherwise: an actor is a puppeteer, with himself as puppet.
Matt frequently held forth in these trite ways—mostly to himself. When it came to philosophy, he didn’t fool anybody, he wasn’t an original.
“You got a call,” Frances said.
“Who?” Matt said.
“You won’t like who. You won’t want to do it, it doesn’t fit your range.” “For crying out loud,” Matt said. “Who was it?” “Somebody from Ted Silkowitz’s. It’s something Ted Silkowitz is doing. You won’t like it,” she said again.
“Silkowitz,” Matt groaned. “The guy’s still in diapers. He’s sucking his thumb. What’s he want with me?” “That’s it. He wants you and nobody else.” “Cut it out, Frances.” “See what I mean? I know you, I knew you’d react like that. You won’t want to do it. You’ll find some reason.” She pulled a tissue from inside the sleeve of her sweater and began to breathe warm fog on her lenses. Then she rubbed them with the tissue. Matt was interested in bad eyesight—how it made people stand, the pitch of their shoulders and necks. It was the kind of problem he liked to get absorbed in. The stillness and also the movement. If acting was lying, it was at the same time mercilessly and mechanically truth-telling. Watching Frances push the earpieces of her glasses back into the thicket of her hair, Matt thought how pleasing that was, how quickly and artfully she did it. He could copy this motion exactly; he drew it with his tongue on the back of his teeth. If he looked hard enough, he could duplicate anything at all. Even his nostrils, even his genitals, had that power. His mind was mostly a secret kept from him—he couldn’t run it, it ran him, but he was intimate with its nagging pushy heat.
“It’s got something to do with Lear. Something about King Lear,” Frances said. “But never mind, it’s not for you. You wouldn’t want to play a geezer.” “Lear? What d’you mean, Lear?” “Something like that, I don’t know. You’re supposed to show up tomorrow morning. If you’re interested,” she added; he understood how sly she could be. “Eleven o’clock.” “Well, well,” Matt said, “good thing I got my shoes shined.” Not that he believed in miracles, but with Silkowitz anything was possible: the new breed, all sorts of surprises up their baby sleeves...

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Table of Contents

Contents

Dictation 1 Actors 51 At Fumicaro 87 What Happened to the Baby? 135

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    See ya losers! :D

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    *Grabs Clyde by the throat, pinching his windpipe and the veins.* I'm not here to play games.

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