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Suburban Souls I

Suburban Souls I by Anonymous
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When first published in 1901, Suburban Souls was a most unusual erotic book. It must not be taken at the same valuation as the ordinary obscene book. This is a novel with a purpose, and will teach many how to analyze a woman. It has considerable literary merit - the relationship of a forty-five-year-old man and twenty-two-year-old young woman, related in the first person by the man. There are scenes where the frankest erotic details are given, but the chief interest and real point of the book is its psychology.

The author of Suburban Souls was a talented narrative writer. The intensity of the emotion and the stubbornness of the protagonist's futile sexual pursuits make extended reading exasperating. Whether the book was written as a novel or a confession or an expiation is a matter of conjecture. It was not written as a moral tale, or a retaliation, since although Lilian was a girl who understood the power she possessed over the narrator, and exploited this to her own end, she was portrayed as no more evil or sinful than the author himself. Repeatedly, Jacky blames only himself for his obsessive infatuation and the attendant self-inflicted and oft-invited, psychological masochism he suffers. Jacky and Lilian are co-equal protagonists and antagonists. He is Humbert Humbert and she Lolita, sixty years before the Nabokov novel of that name. The dedication of the book reads: I dedicate this story of sordid sensuality to my heroine, one of the wickedest women in the world. This homage is due to her, for has she not written a great part of the book herself?

Renaissance E Books; February 2002
155 pages; ISBN 9781588730695
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Title: Suburban Souls I
Author: Anonymous
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