Monday, November 28, 2016

William Trevor

 The most distinguished of all Old Columban writers (indeed, of OCs generally), William Trevor (his real surname was Cox), died last week. In many writings he remembered the College, and in this interview with Mike Murphy as part of John Bowman's RTE Radio archive programme yesterday (starting at 15:12), he reminisced about the College ("a very good school indeed"). More references appear in a novel such as Fools of Fortune, the biographical collection Excursions in the Real World, and in shorter pieces such as 'Leaving School'. He kept up his interest in the school throughout his life.

Worth reading in the press since:

    • Irish writers give their reactions in the Irish Times, including Kevin Barry, Joseph O'Connor and Mary Morrissey.
    • Also in the Irish Times, Denis Sampson on the novel Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel and Eileen Battersby on a 'world-class writer'.
    • In the Guardian, Christina Paterson: "In times like these, art has the power to make us feel less alone."
    • Novelist Anne Enright: "He was, in that no man’s land, completely at home in the English language. He had no need of metaphor; the push in his sentences is towards the apposite phrase and he repeatedly gives the reader the satisfaction of finding it"
    • In the New Yorker, Marisa Silver on 'William Trevor's Quiet Explosions': "How fortunate we are that he looked so carefully—that he found the foibles and hardships and small joys of life infused with equal measures of faith and foreboding, and that he was moved to spend his life telling us about it."
    • An old one: a fine Paris Review interview.

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