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That Summer’s Trance

summerstrance

Ben Oakshaw is a gifted young American studying at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he distinguishes himself by the power and originality of his performances. During his days at the Academy he is captivated by a fellow student, an English girl named Jill. Their long, intense affair comes to an end when Ben meets Priscilla, an American girl who works at the American Embassy in London. They fall in love and marry.

Years later, Priscilla and Ben attend a play which Jill has written. They go backstage to congratulate her. Priscilla, charmed by the playwright and completely unaware of her prior relationship with Ben, invites Jill to join Ben and herself on their annual summer vacation at their beach house on the Outer Banks.

What ensues is the summer trance of that vacation. A trance, Ben comes to realice, “which is haunted by the future as well as by the pas. For the unborn are as implacable as the dead and the deserted, and on their spectral stages love is not given in vain, and no gift is spurned with impunity, and desire does not fail.”


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