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ID
a24
Title
The Duet
Genre
Story
Page Count
23
Word Count
3580
Publisher
American Aphrodite
Argosy
Grayson & Grayson
Vanity Fair
Publication Year
1935
Document Types
Uncollected Stories
Topics
Music

London: Grayson & Grayson, 1935. Grayson Books (No. 1).

A story of a young choirmaster's son, eager for attention from two visiting festival singers. They however ignore him and eventually retire to the soprano's room; through the keyhole, Horace observes Erasmus 'running his fingers across the ribs of Madame Stronheim's stays as though he were playing a harp'. Later at the concert, 'the deep harmonies of the duet rolled and thundered through the chapel, and the audience, overpowered, sat transfixed in wonder', but Horace reflects not so much on the singing as on what he saw: 'He was beginning ... to have an idea that there were a great many things in the world that were not quite what they seemed to be'. As with other tales involving music and singing, Bates may have drawn upon his childhood, as his father, Albert Bates, was a choir-director. Also published in Vanity Fair (February 1935), No Want of Meat, Sir! (1936), Argosy (November 1940), American Aphrodite (1:3, 1951).

Reviews:

The Spectator (April 5, 1935, p. 577, Derek Vershoyle, attached)

Times Literary Supplement (May 16, 1935, p. 312, Geoffrey West, attached).


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