A DIARY OF LOVE by Maude Hutchin


Email this review


A nervous, intuitive attempt to present love in the round. The narrative- told in the first person- follows the early, restless awakening to love of a young girl surrounded by relatives and neighbors in various stages of negation and fulfilment. There is Dominick, precocious, desiring, a boy exploring love. There are his parents, jovial Olympians, exuberant in their animal energies. There is a maiden aunt whose only joy lies in riding her handsome stallion, a Grandfather and the delicate lad he was teaching to play the flute, and Frieda, the servant, whose frigidity leads to tragic aberrations. In the second part of the story, when the author really hits her stride, the scene shifts from Long Island to a tuberculosis sanitarium in the desert, where love is part of exotic decay, charged with the crepuscular, sweet fancies of the sick. The writing here is brilliant, glittering and exciting, but the identification with sickness seems to project itself forward to the first section and her youth -- and to the last, and her home-coming and marriage, in which she loses Dominick to his mother. The monstrous masks and fancies seen to negate, the validity of a positive experience. And the inverted prose and feverish eye for evocative detail make it a reading experience of doubtful appeal. Not for public libraries.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1950
Publisher: New Directions