Lisa Appignanesi (GB)
Memory and Desire There is nothing quite like spying to the feed erotic imagination. Seeing and not being seen, gazing upon what thinks itself unobserved, trembling on the brink of the secret. Hazarding discovery. Alexei Gismondi, as he trailed through the wet Manhattan streets on a day in early spring, was not unaware of the links between spy and lover. And he had watched too many B-movies in his youth for his reflection amidst the bric-a-brac in a boutique window not to bring a smile to his lips. There it was, the soft slouch to his hat, the light belted coat which kept the persistent drizzle from his shoulders. He had unthinkingly dressed for the part. For a moment the irony of his situation dispersed the grimness of his mood. Not a sleuth, yet for the last four days he had been assiduously shadowing one particu lar woman. And the cast she had taken on in his imagination did not altogether please him. He had not come to New York to indulge in a lover's overheated fantasies. Perhaps it was this city whitch was doing it to him. This Manhattan of dream and danger and celluloid. This week it seemed to him like a medieval fortress full of dark corners and crevices and secret underground passages.