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Revaluations

William Trevor is one of the most accomplished and celebrated contemporary prose writers in the English language. This book offers a comprehensive examination of the oeuvre of one of the most accomplished and celebrated practitioners writing in the English language. Trevor is very interested in popular literature and how certain genres run through people's lives like tunes or family memories. His characters are often 'turned in on themselves', strange, extreme, at odds with the world. The various betrayals, manipulations and acts of cruelty that constitute the representative events of The Old Boys are typical of Trevor's England. The book also explores the ways in which Trevor's liberal humanist premises condition his response to issues of historical consciousness, ideological commitment and political violence. Trevor's short story, 'Lost Ground', from After Rain, conforms to Aristotle's vision of tragedy because it depicts a truly horrendous situation inside a family in Northern Ireland. Notable screen fictions illustrating long-term migrant themes include Attracta, Beyond the Pale and Fools of Fortune. Trevor's short story 'The Ballroom of Romance' evokes memories of dancehall days, partly explains this public appeal, which was enhanced by the BAFTA award-winning film adaptation of the story by Pat O'Connor. Love and Summer is a lyrical, evocative story of the emotional turbulence 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.

‘No interest. Not suitable for treatment’
Lance Pettitt

5 William Trevor’s screen fictions: ‘No interest. Not suitable for treatment’ Lance Pettitt The television version of The Ballroom of Romance struck a chord in the folk memory of its audience, some of whom remembered their youthful excursions to similar dancehalls with nostalgia.1 This essay contests the view that Trevor’s work for the screen is somehow secondary to his many and notable accomplishments as a novelist and short-story writer. Instead, it suggests that his career demonstrates the pervasive inter-connections between these different forms, and that

in William Trevor
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Paul Delaney and Michael Parker

Introduction Paul Delaney and Michael Parker William Trevor is one of the most accomplished and celebrated contemporary prose writers in the English language. In a writing career spanning half a century, he has produced an unparalleled body of work, including fifteen novels, three novellas and eleven volumes of short stories, as well as plays, radio and television adaptations, film screenplays, a work of children’s fiction and two non-fiction texts. Internationally recognised as one of the most significant Irish novelists of the last fifty years, he is widely

in William Trevor
Politics, gender and narrative technique in Felicia’s Journey
Michael Parker

10 The power of withholding: politics, gender and narrative technique in Felicia’s Journey Michael Parker Composed during a period of momentous change in relationships between Ireland and Britain, William Trevor’s Felicia’s Journey (1994) is a literary work which, like its predecessors, reflects how individual lives bear the imprint of the political, economic and cultural narratives and histories of their places of origin.1 Revelations in the opening chapters about the title character’s lack of prospects and quality of life stand as an indictment of successive

in William Trevor
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William Trevor and reading
Hermione Lee

1 Learnt by heart: William Trevor and reading Hermione Lee This essay proposes to look at the reading that goes on in some of the novels and stories of William Trevor, and to see what can be deduced from that about his work. It starts in Quincunx House, a 100-year-old house in Essex in which three generations of one family have lived. It is now owned by Thaddeus Davenant, who is remembering his parents, his English father and Polish mother. In winter they sat and watched the rain or played chess by the fire, their two bent heads reflected in the looking

in William Trevor
Love and Summer
Heidi Hansson

13 Character, community and critical nostalgia: Love and Summer Heidi Hansson William Trevor’s novel Love and Summer (2009) 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. Initially, the reader is told that ‘Nothing happened in Rathmoye, its people said’, only to be informed immediately afterwards that the fact that ‘nothing happened was an exaggeration too’ (3).1 The tension between the inner turmoil of the characters and a paralysed environment where nothing seems

in William Trevor
Cheating at Canasta
Paul Delaney

12 ‘The art of the glimpse’: Cheating at Canasta Paul Delaney When William Trevor was interviewed by the Paris Review in 1989, he was asked to share his thoughts on the craft of the short story. ‘I think it is the art of the glimpse’, he replied. ‘It should be an explosion of truth. Its strength lies in what it leaves out just as much as what it puts in, if not more’.1 Partial illumination is a staple feature of Trevor’s work, and similar observations on the importance of restraint recur whenever Trevor has paused to reflect on a form he is adept at and

in William Trevor
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Aspects of Trevor’s England
George O’Brien

spirits’ (BH 59) into an institution for the elderly run along commercial lines, home acquires a different set of connotations and a different moral dimension. Under the new regime, the hearth and haven associations of home will be 30 William Trevor: Revaluations replaced by confinement and abandonment, in another instance of how place expresses a dichotomy between designation and actuality.9 In its original form, however, the boarding house is the first ‘improvised community’10 – pub, hospital, hotel – used by Trevor as venues of London life. Such venues are half

in William Trevor
Political violence in the fiction of William Trevor
Elmer Kennedy-Andrews

4 ‘The battlefield has never quietened’: political violence in the fiction of William Trevor Elmer Kennedy-Andrews While opening his fiction to a wider social and political world from the 1970s onwards, at a time when political violence had returned to Northern Ireland, Trevor has denied that ‘Irishness’ or politics are at all significant to him as a writer. His Paris Review interview is importantly revealing: Since I am an Irishman, I feel I belong to the Irish tradition. I don’t feel that being Irish is the important thing. What is important is to take Irish

in William Trevor
William Trevor and postcolonial London
C.L. Innes

3 ‘Compassion thrown to the winds’: William Trevor and postcolonial London C.L. Innes In 2004, on the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, Caryl Phillips wrote an essay commenting on the peculiar absence of black characters in the fiction and drama written by white authors in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. ‘[John] Braine, Amis, [John] Osborne, Arnold Wesker, and Keith Waterhouse cannot have been unaware of the huge public debate around black immigration’, Phillips remarked. ‘And they cannot have been unaware of the social

in William Trevor