Books: A Dying Art

THE LAST CAPRICE by Robert S. Menchin. 117 pages. Simon & Schuster. $2.95.

A 19th century Philadelphia stagehand bequeathed his head to the local company "to represent the skull of Yorick in the play Hamlet.'" With an exultant flourish, a Denver printer willed five shares of his brewery stock to the president of the Colorado Woman's Christian Temperance Union. German Poet Heinrich Heine left everything to his wife on the specific condition that she remarry, "because then there will be at least one man to regret my death."

Suppressed desires, hidden hates, secret...

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