Phillip Lopate JOSEPH McLELLAN - Essay


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Confessions of Summer] is a first novel about a romantic triangle. Two strikes. But Phillip Lopate is an experienced writer in poetry and nonfiction … and he approaches his time-worn subject with acute perceptions and mastery of style. The result is a psychological novel of considerable distinction….

"The triad is a notoriously unstable form," a friend tells Eric, too late to do him any good. "In sexual matters it nearly always resolves itself into another duo." The question here is which duo. There are three possibilities, for Eric and Jack have enjoyed a friendship so long and intense that it practically amounts to platonic homosexuality (complete with platonic dialogues), and in the...

(The entire section is 548 words.)