The Names Themes

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The Names pointedly covers the territory of Americans abroad previously examined by Henry Miller, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsberg and so on. It is an expatriate novel for the latter twentieth century.

The characters of The Names are not hedonists who have left the United States in search of a freer state of being; they are bourgeois professional who have parleyed discontent into a professional situation that allows them to live a rootless existence. Their concerns remained centered about their flats, their job, and their families. The Names has none of the orgiastic excesses of Tropic of Cancer or The Sheltering Sky. When two characters go to bed together, the process is secretive and somewhat embarrassing, as when James seduces Janet Ruffing under the reproachful gaze of Lindsay Keller.

What the travelers of The Names have in common with the travelers of the past era is their image of...

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This section contains 862 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Names Study Guide
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