Figured I finish up this one too while I was at it.White, Edmund. Nocturnes for the King of Naples. 1978. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988.Summary
: Approaching middle age, a gay man recalls his life up until that point--his mother's death, his father's escapades in Spain, his many subsequent lovers--through the lens of a much older man that he loved and left and who later died.Comments
: Yet another "searching for meaning amidst pointless hedonism" entry into 70's gay fiction, this prose poem is at once more personal and sentimental than Forgetting Elena
...and also more pretentious. Thankfully, it's significantly shorter, as well. White is always, at the best of times, channeling the Victorian and European, but this novel in particular meanders about in almost abject devotion for a lost love in a very un-American way (though it does NOT, as far as I can tell, actually take place in Naples, despite the title), not to mention the way that he meanders about idly with enough money so that he doesn't have to work. I positively adore some of the imagery of love and its manifestations--to the point where I've paged around this novel for a couple of years now, memorizing sentences but never actually reading from cover to cover. White's descriptions of love as nostalgia are something that has touched me deeply ever since I was first exposed to his writing. Notes
: trade paperback, Stonewall Inn EditionRating
- Positively gorgeous, but if you don't appreciate devotional prose poems, don't even consider it, even if you have the necessary cultural background to even get a cognitive toehold on this novel in the first place.