‘The battlefield has never quietened’
Political violence in the fiction of William Trevor
in William Trevor
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This chapter explores the ways in which William Trevor's liberal humanist premises condition his response to issues of historical consciousness, ideological commitment and political violence, with reference to a selection of his short stories and novels grouped under three headings. They are: The Colonial Mindset; The Colonial Legacy; and Unfinished Business: The Northern Irish Troubles. Trevor's flirting with postmodernist ideas about the indeterminacy of truth in The Story of Lucy Gault concedes as much. In early works such as 'Beyond the Pale', 'Attracta', 'The News from Ireland', Fools of Fortune and The Silence in the Garden, his characters are trapped in history. In Felicia's Journey, The Story of Lucy Gault and 'Against the Odds', however, he opens up the possibility of change, new hopes of ending the cycle of violence, based on reaffirmation of the humanist belief in the individual as at least semi-autonomous.

William Trevor



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