Thursday, August 9, 2007
Robertson Davies (1913-1995)
The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need.
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Robertson Davies (August 28, 1913 - December 2, 1995) was a Canadian author and a true Canadian -- born in a small Ontario town to immigrant parents, and proud of his Welsh background, he also helped defined the modern Canadian personality. Growing up, Davies was surrounded by language. His father was a newspaper man, and both his parents were voracious readers. He, in turn, read everything he could. While Davies spent his first twenty-three working years at various newspapers in small town Ontario, his first passion was for the theatre, which is where he met and married his wife, Brenda. He was a playwright and director for many years, in England and Canada.
Davies later became the Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto (1961-1981). His greatest novel is probably Fifth Business (1970), a curious book which draws heavily on Davies's love of myth and knowledge of small-town mores. The narrator, like Davies, is of immigrant Canadian background, with a father who runs the town paper. In a book full of singular characters, the central character is a simple, mentally defective woman named Mary Dempster, who may or may not be a saint. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Robertson Davies.]
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