Leviant (Partita in Venice, 1999) has a way of pushing the envelope a bit farther than he ought, but there is a sincerity in his style that makes his pretensions forgivable and sometimes even lots of fun. Here, he wanders into Pinter’s dressing-room and ends up hanging out with Joyce in a strange tale of meanings, perspectives, and genial confusions. Guido and Charlie are old schoolmates: Guido grows up to become a photographer, Charlie a shrink. One of Charlie’s patients is a musician named Aviva. Guido goes to Aviva for music lessons and becomes her lover. She talks to Charlie about it. He wants to tell her to avoid Guido, whom he knows to be bad news, but professional scruples (rather than personal loyalties) prevent him. So it’s a comedy of errors as well as bedroom farce. But it’s a lot more: the author has included a lengthy glossary of apparently random subjects (e.g., “Virgin, professional”) that figure into the plot—which follows a line that could have been plotted by Laurence Stern after a few tumblers of punch.
A nice ride, even if it doesn’t really go anywhere.