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Arc D'X

Erickson, Steve

486 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0671742965 / ISBN 13: 9780671742966
Published by Poseidon Press, New York, 1993
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Jaystime (Salem, OR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

1993,1993 First Printing 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Fine Book, Near Fine unclipped jacket, 298 clean tight unmarked deckled pages, gray end pages, book has red paper boards with black cloth covered spine, silver stamped lettering on the spine, jacket has a color illustration on the front with raised white lettering, a small tear on lower jacket spine, a hard to fine book. Bookseller Inventory # 003153

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Arc D'X

Publisher: Poseidon Press, New York

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Thomas Jefferson's love for and enslavement of his mistress, Sally Hemings, forms the center of an exploration of the American spirit. By the author of Days Between Stations. 50,000 first printing. National ad/promo. Author tour.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A bold and occasionally brilliant interpretation of American history--but marred by a too obvious cerebration that numbs, turning original ideas into mere conceits. Appropriating the rumored liaison between Thomas Jefferson and the slave Sally Hemings, Erickson (Tours of the Black Clock, 1989, etc.) makes that relationship not only a recurring event in the following centuries but uses it as a metaphor for a conflict between the heart and history. For Erickson, this relationship personifies Jefferson's inability to separate history--the need to further human freedom--from the ``pursuit of happiness''--the needs of his heart. This, the novel suggests, is the same conflict that has also shaped America's destiny. And beginning with Jefferson's childhood memory of a slave burned at the stake and ending as the millennium threatens cataclysmic disaster, this conflict is repeatedly reenacted and dissected. In settings that include revolutionary Paris; a sinister city-state ruled by the Primacy; and a millennial Berlin abandoned by most of its inhabitants, characters resembling the original lovers repeat their first encounter. There's a rape that becomes a lasting but flawed love reminding Jefferson of his dereliction of ideals, and Sally of her connivance in her continued enslavement. All encounters, whether in the Fleurs d'X, a bar in the red-light area of the Primacy, or in a deserted Berlin hotel are explorations of the intersection--the arc of x--between ``history's denial of the human heart,'' on the one hand, and, ``on the other, history's secret pursuit of the heart's expression.'' Which makes for relentless intellectualizing and even more constrained characters as America and the lovers never quite resolve their destructive contradictions, and the ``pursuit of happiness'' remains ``the most forbidden artifact of all.'' Much fine writing and many provocative ideas, but nothing connects--ever--even at the many proffered intersections. Clever but cold. (First serial to Esquire) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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