By Iris Owens
Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, “the French rat.” That no less than is how Harriet sees issues, no matter if it’s Claude who has simply requested Harriet to depart his Greenwich Village house. good, a method or one other she has no goal of leaving. on the contrary, she's going to remain and specific revenge—or could have if Claude had no longer had her unceremoniously evicted. nonetheless, even though moved out, Harriet isn't really approximately to maneuver on. now not whatsoever. Girlfriends circle round to patronize and suggest, yet Harriet basically takes offense, and it’s effortless to appreciate why. simply because mad and maddening as she could be, Harriet sees previous the well mannered platitudes that everybody else is content material to spout and dwell by way of. She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and chiefly bitingly humorous prophetess of all that's flawed with women’s lives and hearts—until, in a shock twist, she unearths a savior in a depressing room on the Chelsea lodge.
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Additional resources for After Claude (New York Review Books Classics)
Authentic,” I snorted at Claude. ” Because, believe me, his close-ups had been unsparing. “Shut up. Stop attracting attention. ” “What is it with you, Claude? ” Claude marched smartly ahead of me, and I was practically running, as well as shouting, to keep in touch with him. In a normal neighborhood, we might have aroused suspicion, but up there, it just passed as a harmless purse snatching. “Slow up,” I yelled, when he reached the corner of Broadway and Ninety-fifth Street, because it’s not one of my favorite fantasies to be abducted by six muscular militants to go play White Goddess in the back room of guerrilla headquarters.
Wasn’t she swell? So quiet, so sad, so refined. Never pushing Jesus to become a dentist, make something of himself. ” Claude’s reply came through his perfect, white, clenched teeth. ” A request which was declined, not by me but by the driver, who slammed on his brakes in order to avoid hitting a station wagon that had cravenly stopped for a red light. I was flung across Claude’s chest. ” Claude gave me his rotten smile, as if to suggest that he and the cab driver had partaken of an immortality pill, and fastidiously rubbed the front of his shirt, where my touch had contaminated him.
It’s only a word,” he said nervously and got up from the conference table, thinking perhaps that in the ten measly seconds it took him to get a beer, I would be packed and out of the apartment. His wish did not come true. “Well? Do you just go around calling people peculiar? It seems very peculiar to me, and I use the word advisedly, that any time we leave this squalor, be it to see a lousy movie or one of your lousy friends, you become hysterical. It also seems to me that you feel very free to say anything you want about all the dirty Jews who are conspiring you out of being the Dalai Lama of television, but if I make one tiny observation about a movie that had Christ in it, we’re having a religious war.