SHOWCASES by Dorothea Straus


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A second (Thresholds) retrospective of graceful memories under glass -- encasing the ""showcases of our imagination. . .a new creation coincides with the decline or extinction of an old one."" Or sometimes time causes the shift of perspective, even if nothing dims her first glamorous view of the Lunts aboard the Berengaria. Mrs. Straus was obviously one of the more privileged members of Our Crowd and early travels to Europe entailed a French maid, a governess and a tutor. On to other places -- New York and the Casino in the Park; Paris where she fell in love with the publisher she married and also met Maurice Goudeket; Rome with Carlo Levi. All kinds of people also appear and disappear: T.S. Eliot and Teilhard de Chardin -- a family member for six years of detente -- waiting for ""what I believe will prevail in the end""; or Charles Jackson at the end of his lost weekend and lost life; or a beautiful cousin burned to death under a hairdryer; or her brother, immobilized in a nursing home -- a ""luxury motel cemetery."" Mrs. Straus has a gentle touch even if time, always and inexorably, deletes the past but sometimes liberates.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1974
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin