IN LOVE by Alfred Hayes


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A fever chart of an affair records all the fluctuations of feelings which are intimate and intense, expectant and often disabused, cruel and vulnerable, and brings to the heat of passion a cooler scrutiny which comes with its conclusion. This is his (nameless) record of his affair with her in which he finds ""the pleasure of love"" but avoids the permanence she would like to find after the failure of a marriage and the loss of a child. And while his desire diminishes in the endless duologues of their evenings together, and she chafes at the situation which is heading nowhere, she finds an alternative in a rich business man who provokes her pity and then the promise of all the comforts of a home. This then leads to a first separation which excites a suffering (in him) disproportionate to his affection (for her); there is the theater of vilification and tears, the torment of what she may be doing, the magnified memory of what she was. A reconciliation is followed by a dreary weekend in Atlantic City, and her return to the rich man from whom she will extort the marriage she wants is attended only by one last histrionic gesture.... A tour de force, this is also a world of flesh which describes the eternal sexual deadlock with accuracy and immediacy and a certain vicious to vicarious fascination.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1953
ISBN: 0720612942
Publisher: Harper