February 11, 2004

Sketches from Memory
Edmund White and Hubert Sorin

Love Stories -- A forgettable book that I'll always remember. How so? Because it's a true labor of love, resonnating not with what it says or depicts, but with the sense of love it conveys. The words, by novelist White, are tidbits of gossip and name-dropping involving a community of Parisian artists, snobs and romanticized street people. The drawings, by White's partner Sorin, are the thinnest of caricatures. Together, they make a slim volume of breezy reading. But White's introduction, written the day Sorin died of AIDS, gives the whole effort a tragic weight. By book's end, their easy and, at times, not-so-easy love for each other is clearly revealed through their sympathetic observations of others. It's this revelation that is most memorable.


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