cover image Home Body

Home Body

John Thorne. Ecco Press, $15 (111pp) ISBN 978-0-88001-514-1

This curious amalgam by Thorne (Outlaw Cook) combines essays on the erotic symbolism of the keyhole, the doorknob and the chest of drawers with exceedingly personal views on the chair (""a strange simulacrum of a beast""), the electric light (""the essential element of [the modern house's] charm"") and the mirror (""the eye of the soul""). Thorne mentions the various homes he has stayed in--from the large two-family house of his grandparents to his small apartment in Manhattan's East Village--as the basis for his ruminations on such allied topics as the role of the fire escape in urban living and his hope of finding a bathroom that contains nothing more than a tub. Those who have concerned themselves with the mystique of the house will find Thorne a kindred spirit. The line drawings by Christian, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, are a delight. (Aug.)