Character, community and critical nostalgia
Love and Summer
in William Trevor
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William Trevor's novel Love and Summer is a lyrical, evocative story of the emotional turbulence that lies underneath the surface of everyday life in a small Irish town in the 1950s. Love and Summer is based on a critical variety of nostalgia that recognises both the stifling limitations of a small-town environment and the crucial connection between ethics and place. Trevor's re-creation of 1950s Ireland can be understood as a form of critical nostalgia that throws present systems of human interaction into relief by comparison with the past and vice versa. To frame a discussion of the ethical themes in Love and Summer, it is useful to set up a few old-fashioned or newly fashionable premises. On the character level, Love and Summer contrasts the effects of being determined by the past with living a life that rejects or dismisses the past, as Florian Kilderry attempts to do.

William Trevor

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