Half novel, half theater piece, 'A Shakespearean View of Freud' entirely lives up to the innovative intensity of its title. At its heart (or maybe sleeve) there is Rob Conti, a typically obsessive, agonized and excruciating Stephen Sangirardi Italian Roman Catholic character, a librarian who marries a very beautiful, unpretentious girl and thereby hurls himself into a writhing snake-pit of irrational, borderline insane, jealousy. Rob's cousin, Carmine, predicts at the very altar on Rob and Laura's wedding day that the marriage will not last, and both their families expect and, in some cases hope, that it won't, as indeed it doesn't. After Rob’s divorce from Laura, Rob's mother in particular wants him to marry Nancy, a much more appropriately homely girl, but Rob has no interest in her except to make an intellectual point as he devises a drama of scenes from his marriage with heavy nods to Shakespeare's 'Othello' and the 1960s social realism school of theater. In the next part of the story, which takes place in the Midwest four years later, Rob becomes involved with another Nancy, billed as the foxy femme-fatale, who tempts Rob away from his latest marriage vows with a different Laura. As Rob and Laura's family expected a divorce in New York, so should you expect a literary and dramatic tour de force. Oh yes, and there is a death at the end.
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Stephen Sangirardi is a New York English teacher who has published two previous volumes of short stories - 'The Geometers of Intellect' and 'Life on the Planet' - and a much-acclaimed novel about an adulterous love affair - 'Monday Afternoon'.
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