Long After Summer
The gentleness, wistful rather than whimsical, associated with Robert Nathan in this tragic-romantic idyll of Cape Cod, of a man, an orphaned child, and a boy. JOHANNA, who is taken for a summer from an asylum to the home of her father who never admits his paternity, is sent out to work in the home of the NARRATOR – who remains nameless. Through him, she forms the first friendship of her lifetime, experiences her first love with JOT – a youngster who is to drown in a boating accident. In the disbelief and bewilderment which follows, Johanna maintains the illusion that Jot is alive “long after summer,” with the final acceptance of his death, and the fear of her return to the asylum, she attempts suicide. Finally, she is reconciled to the years ahead knowing that the man who had befriended her will wait for her to grow up… A brief moment, briefly beguiling too.
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“Here is another of Robert Nathan’s porcelain miniatures, fashioned with the quiet perfection, the tenuousness of plot, and sure evocation of atmosphere which have become his hallmark… As a craftsman, Mr. Nathan is a delight. Sensitive to the rhythms of the spoken word and to nature, he knows how to carry them into his story with skill that seems effortless.”
Saturday Review of Literature