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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.

‘Lost Ground’
Jennifer M. Jeffers

like is done or mediated by brother on brother, by son on father, by mother on son, or son on mother – these are the situations the poet should seek after. (Aristotle, Poetics) Over 2000 years ago Aristotle theorised that tragedy fails to engage our sense of pity and fear if it focuses on an enemy revenging an enemy or on violence inflicted indifferently. Rather, he suggested, horrible deeds ‘done within the family’ elicit the experience of ‘tragic pleasure’. William Trevor’s short story, ‘Lost Ground’, from After Rain (1996), conforms to Aristotle’s vision of

in William Trevor
Barker’s challenge to postmodernism
Elisabeth Angel-Perez

incorporated into the project of absolute enlightenment’, AT, 173) – but an an ‘involution’ towards acknowledging obscurity, towards acknowledging that man is governed by his sense of utter mystery, the mystery of death being the terminal epitome of this mystery.18 What Barker proposes is to bring us, through his fantastic vision of tragedy, to the almost carnal knowledge of obscurity and of secret: knowledge, here, in its biblical sense, knowledge, to put it in Henri Meschonnic’s words, as ‘a R&G 04_Tonra 01 11/10/2013 16:13 Page 45 Barker’s challenge to postmodernism

in Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre