CAMDEN'S EYE by Austin Wright


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The trouble with me was. But I married Julie Morse in the month of October in Boston. She was a good wife. We had a child, and then."" This is an interesting experimental novel in which truth is approached by a series of circuitous narratives addressed to the reader by William Camden who refers to himself alternately in the first and third persons, i.e. ""Then he married Julie Morse was beginning her second year of graduate study when we met,"". . . ""So I got married. Julie Morse was a graduate student"" (next paragraph). The problem with this carefully crafted device, is that the author forfeits reader empathy, involvement. And the characters are distressingly dull. William Camden is a cuckold who has taken over the responsibility of his wife's lover's (her minister. . . a progressive) child. He goes back and forth in memory, recalling the Wednesday nights out she demanded. . . her missing diaphragm, the final confrontation and his retaliatory affair with one of her best friends. These discomfiting crises turn him, temporarily, into a peeping Tom, nearly provoke his suicide and at the end, playing with her child, he is still facing a painful adjustment. A case of multi-shifted focus leading to a blurred vision however skillfully presented.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday