William Trevor: Excursions in the Real World



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Excursions is a collection of short pieces mainly autobiographical by one of the great masters Trevor s childhood experiences not always happy bring alive places such as Enniscorthy that we know so well from his wonderful fiction He is so acutely observant and writes with such compassion of other people s lives as well as his own that every piece of writing is a perfect short story in itself written in the gentle cadences of his Irish voice I found his analysis of his parents marriage particularly moving It shows extraordinary insight as he looks back as an adult on their marital difficulties during his childhood There are also short essays on his travels in Venice and Iran I bought this 1st edition for 175 in a Sue Ryder charity shop a couple of years ago Who handed it in I wonder because I ll never tire of eading it I have limited bookshelf space but this one is a keeper Trevor as always the most marvelous writer I especially enjoyed his eflections on growing up in Ireland as a member of the not so prosperous Ascendancy His memories. A modern master of the short story brings his precise and compassionate observations to bear on his own life in a book of ecollections that is at once funny poignant and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party revealing As William Trevorecords his migration from the shabby genteel precincts of.

Of boarding school and Trinity are poignant and funny He offers frank opinions not the usual paeans of praise on the personalities of some of the notables of Irish literature Yeats O Casey and Beckett Fascinating on a now obscure writer Gerhardie well espected for a time but later burned out Wonderful description of his walk through the mountains near Tipperary and Clonmel Didn t care as much for his musings on New York in the early 70 s or on Venice I love how this starts the introduction is a wonderful sideways look at the uestion what makes a writer And then the essays about people the bits left behind when Trevor was picking through his own experience to write fiction are brilliant and again sideways give us insights into Trevor s life It s when he talks about cities I found the essays faltered Or maybe it was just me A collection of essays anging from childhood memoirs to international travel Trevor s fans will find the personal memoirs the strongest material evoking as they do his short stories and demonstrating if demonstratio. Ireland's Protestant middle class to the sleek vulgarity of London in the swinging sixties from Cork and Dublin to New York and Isfahan he yields luminous portraits of the people whose paths crossed his There is the oaring schoolmaster with the passion for.

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N were needed how much he drew on personal experience for his pinpoint accurate depictions of ural and small town life in mid 20th century Ireland The travel essays were less to my taste being less material less grounded in The Sky Weaver (Iskari, reality abstract The essay on New York in particular that most material of cities labours under a miasma of subjective barely coherent sense impressions that will shock anyeader used to Trevor s almost tangible clarity Perhaps the master of the particulars of country life was simply unable to grasp such a vast metropolis A volume of essays from the Irish short story writer The best are on growing up in emote Ireland and discovering the magic of Dublin He writes well on the odd characters he met at Trinity College working as an advertising copywriter and having to devise promotional campaigns for various foreign companies including Canadian Pacific there is a short portrait of Ted Hughes second tragic paramour Assia Wevil Some travel pieces are included and I liked the one on New York City in 1973 the best of these. Spelling bees; the glamorous emigre with a weakness for faithless poets There are Trevor's parents marooned in a marriage that grew arid by the year In Excursions in the Real World Trevor turns memory into a fabulous balancing act between truthfulness and ar.

William Trevor KBE grew up in various provincial towns and attended a number of schools graduating from Trinity College in Dublin with a degree in history He first exercised his artistry as a sculptor working as a teacher in Northern Ireland and then emigrated to England in search of work when the school went bankrupt He could have returned to Ireland once he became a successful writer he