Jewellery by Alberto Moravia, 1956
The magic trick:
Telling you in the beginning exactly what will happen in the end
Hard to know what to make of this one. The premise, explicitly stated early in the story, is that a group of male friends will inevitably splinter apart if a woman is interested into the mix.
This early pronouncement is not subterfuge. That is exactly what happens in the narrative, as predicted. It’s also not clear that’s it is a statement of critique. It just is.
That’s how the story plays out. It tells us the problem, and then shows us as proof, just in case we didn’t believe the initial assertion.
And that’s quite a trick on Moravia’s part.
You can be quite sure that, when a woman finds her way into a group of men friends, that group, without the slightest doubt, is bound to disintegrate and each member of it to go off on his own account. That year we formed a group of young men who were all in the closet sympathy with each other, always united, always in agreement, always together.
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