By Iris Owens
Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, “the French rat.” That not less than is how Harriet sees issues, whether it’s Claude who has simply requested Harriet to depart his Greenwich Village house. good, a method or one other she has no purpose of leaving. on the contrary, she's going to remain and distinctive revenge—or may have if Claude had no longer had her unceremoniously evicted. nonetheless, although moved out, Harriet isn't approximately to maneuver on. now not in any respect. Girlfriends circle round to patronize and recommend, yet Harriet in simple terms takes offense, and it’s effortless to appreciate why. simply because mad and maddening as she can be, Harriet sees prior the well mannered platitudes that everybody else is content material to spout and stay by way of. She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and certainly bitingly humorous prophetess of all that's mistaken with women’s lives and hearts—until, in a shock twist, she reveals a savior in a gloomy room on the Chelsea lodge.
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Extra info for After Claude (New York Review Books Classics)
As a matter of fact, I met all my neighbors that famous night, because when a mad woman is screaming and throwing things and is finally bundled off to Bellevue, New Yorkers will gather around and gawk. Only Claude, being a foreigner, offered to help and whisked me up to his top-floor apartment to be a combination concubine-drudge. I have since realized that he hoped I was a victim of rape, or at least a junkie, two of his favorite American specimens. , who was long out of the hospital but subject to relapses at the sound of my voice or footsteps.
Don’t be so touchy. You still have a groovy figure. ” He emphasized his sinister statement with a ghastly smile. “What in the world would I want to replace? ” He looked embarrassed or bewildered, and concentrated on soaping his legs. ” I laughed recklessly at that excruciating sample of French wit. I dried my eyes. “You know, Claude, I may neglect to mention it from time to time, what with the cleaning and cooking and the shopping, I do get distracted, but for a man, you have a wonderful body, and for a Frenchman, it’s practically a miracle.
I turned on the set and got Concentration, which is a show that doesn’t require brains, but is nevertheless a pleasant warm-up for Sale of the Century, which immediately follows. The drama of my day begins to build as the stakes go up, the questions get tougher, and the opponents confront each other with polite envy and rage. I couldn’t concentrate on Concentration and remembered, as if I had recorded the entire scene, Claude’s incredible breakdown of the previous evening. “Claude,” I hollered.