The Pure Lover, A Memoir of Grief

The Pure Lover, A Memoir of Grief

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.

The Pure Lover is David Plante’s elegy to his beloved Nikos Stangos, their forty-year life together, and its tragic end. Written in vivid fragments that, like the pieces of a mosaic, come together into a glimmering whole, it shows us both the wild nature of grief and the intimate conversation that is love.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Houghton
Our first night together, we could have been the inspiration of a poem by Cavafy. But you would not make love. You wanted to lie with me and talk. I, who only really knew promiscuity, didn’t understand, but you said you must first know a person before making love. You believed lovemaking was a long and intimate conversation. That conversation with you was filled with delicacy of your sensuality, for sensuality and sensitivity were in you one, eros and agape.
 
David Plante first met Nikos Stangos in London in 1965. He was a young American—raw, an aspiring writer, in love with a fantasy of Greece half classical and half inspired with the eroticism of Cavafy. Nikos was Greek, a poet, an aesthete and intellectual, a leftist, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of his country: a man of great sophistication and few pretensions. Nikos was pure. They spent the next forty years together. And then Nikos died of brain cancer.

In The Pure Lover Plante tells us, in vivid fragments that like the pieces of a mosaic come together into a glimmering whole, the story of his beloved, of their life together, and of its end. And in this telling he shows us the nature of grief: its passion, its centrality, its vanity, its willfulness, the threat and the lure of its overwhelming force. And the griever’s fear that when it fades, the lost lover will finally, really, be lost.

The Pure Lover is a book of unusual intimacy, a lament that will speak to all who have known deep love and deep grief.



Baker & Taylor
Written in response to the death of his life partner, Nikos Stangos, from brain cancer, this memoir explores Stangos's childhood in Nazi-occupied Greece; his college life in the U.S.; his happy days in London, when he and the author met and became lovers; and his final months as he was ravaged by disease.

Blackwell North Amer
David Plante first met Nikos Stangos in London in 1965. He was a young American - raw, an aspiring writer, in love with a fantasy of Greece half classical and half inspired by the eroticism of Cavafy. Nikos was Greek, a poet, an aesthete and intellectual, a leftist, a survivor of the Nazi occupation of his country: a man of great sophistication and few pretensions. Nikos was pure. They spent the next forty years together. And then Nikos died of brain cancer.
In The Pure Lover Plante tells us, in vivid fragments that, like the pieces of a mosaic, come together into a glimmering whole, the story of his beloved, of their life together, and of its end. And in this telling he shows us the nature of grief: its passion, its centrality, its vanity, its willfulness, the threat and the lure of its overwhelming force. And the griever's fear that when it fades, the lost lover will finally, really, be lost.

Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780807072981
0807072982
Branch Call Number: 305.4092 PLANT PLANT

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