The Drummer of the Eleventh North Devonshire Fusiliers

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9780865474475: The Drummer of the Eleventh North Devonshire Fusiliers
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Using juxtapositon and collage, Guy Davenport creates brilliant assemblages that adhere into four stories that illuminate how one's elusive sexual nature can be hidden and paradoxically revealed by outer appearances, and one novella that completes his trilogy begun by Apples and Pears and The Hules Verne Steam Balloon.

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From Library Journal:

The enameled and perfumed surfaces of Davenport's style as well as the homoerotic content of this slender volume (a novella and four stories) tempt a charge of dandyism. But Davenport's compassionate imagination defies such facile taxonomy. Drawing upon an actual event (the hanging of a drummer boy and his ensign lover in 19th-century England), Davenport's novel shifts to contemporary Denmark to explore relationships among a group of teachers and their adolescent charges. A clue to meaning for the entire volume lies in the title of the novella, Freud's puzzling comment: "Where it was, there must I begin to be." Suggests Davenport, from the agony of a drummer boy and his love ("where it was") in another time and another place there has emerged a joyful but not wholly untroubled potential for male and female love. The book is hopeful, gamy, difficult, but wholly fresh and original.
- Arthur Waldhorn, CityColl . , CUNY
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Davenport luxuriates in the possibilities of language, the imagination's vehicle to fathom and reinvent reality. His stories--experimenting in literary form, mixing historical fact and witty banter, leaping unexpectedly into aesthetics and metaphysics--will dazzle or frustrate, depending on the reader's patience. The centerpiece of this collection, a novella titled "Wo es war, soll ich werden" (Freud's dictum "Where id was, let ego be"), involves a group of raunchy youths in a Danish school who discover affection, eros and the varieties of friendship. This piece completes a trilogy begun with Davenport's earlier novels Apples and Pears and The Jules Verne Steam Balloon. The four accompanying short stories are more like vignettes than fully developed works. In the best of these, "Colin Maillard," an outdoor game played by a pack of schoolboys turns to horrific violence.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Davenport, Guy
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