The Unknown, Remembered Gate

Overview

In The Unknown Remembered Gate, a man in his early thirties is undergoing a crisis of confidence; his uncertainty has been deepened by the recent discovery of an unsent letter he had written about a year earlier to his best friend in his "home town." As the protagonist re-reads the letter he realizes that by immersing himself in academia (he is studying literary criticism) he has been veiling deep feelings of inadequacy. He considers a return to his "home town" as the means of re-establishing. When we meet him in...
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Overview

In The Unknown Remembered Gate, a man in his early thirties is undergoing a crisis of confidence; his uncertainty has been deepened by the recent discovery of an unsent letter he had written about a year earlier to his best friend in his "home town." As the protagonist re-reads the letter he realizes that by immersing himself in academia (he is studying literary criticism) he has been veiling deep feelings of inadequacy. He considers a return to his "home town" as the means of re-establishing. When we meet him in a bar in San Francisco, he is edging closer to a decision. San Francisco is a place where he has been many times before, and it is the place where he last saw his best friend to whom he had written the newly found letter. Drinking scotch and listening to the jazz being played over the bar sound system, the narrator escorts us on a memorial journey through his formative years, his rite of passage from adolescent to young adult. We learn from revelations in his narrative that for the past several years in academia, he has been exposed to a post-modern world in which he has begun to feel more and more out of joint. Through his memory we return to his genesis, meet his parents, and are taken along on a somewhat surreal journey that he made at the age of 13 with his mother and brothers to his "home town." He provides us with a description of the physical contours of the town and how those contours circumscribed his sense of space. Once "at home" in his memory, he explores his experiences: friendships, struggles for identity, fantasies, love, teachers, heart breaks, and shattered dreams. By the end of the novel, the narrator has taken us on a long and arduous Odyssean journey back to his beginnings where he hopes he can find himself, perhaps, as T.S. Eliot tells us in "Little Gidding," the fourth of the Four Quartets, from which the title of the novel is taken, for the first time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452872865
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/6/2010
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

This is my first novel. My academic background includes a B.A. degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. degree in Humanities from Johns Hopkins University where I was a PhD candidate on a Gilman Fellowship but took an M.A. and a 3-year leave of absence never to return. I also have an M.A. degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University; and while working in Hawaii for four years, I completed thirty hours of work toward a PhD in International Political Theory at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. My professional background includes eight years in the Navy where I was an enlisted Russian/French linguist working in Naval Intelligence. After I left Johns Hopkins in 1972, I went to work for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) as a civilian. I would work for ONI until I retired in 2003. During my career with ONI, I was the Head of Foreign Liaison for the Naval Foreign Materiel Program, eventually becoming the Program's Director in 1984, a position I held for twelve years. I also had two tours as the Intelligence Advisor to the Chief of Naval Research, and I was the Office of Naval Intelligence Representative to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Pacific for four years. My wife, Brenda, and I currently live in Central Virginia. Web address is: peterallennovel.com.
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