The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies

Robertson Davies, Author, Judith Skelton Grant, Editor
Robertson Davies, Author, Judith Skelton Grant, Editor Viking Books $19.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-670-82994-1
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
From the early 1940s on, Canada's greatest living novelist wrote weekly newspaper and magazine articles and book reviews. Of the 93 reprinted here, 33 are about ``characters,'' 34 about books and 26 about himself--his interests (Shakespeare), pleasures (book collecting and scrapbook keeping) and public image (``an exacerbated curmudgeon''). Each piece is entertaining and enlightening. Regardless of the subject matter--ranging from the novels of Ivy Compton-Burnett, Joyce Cary and John Cowper Powys to appreciations of Casanova, Chaucer, Freud, Jung, O'Casey, Whitman and Wodehouse, Nellie Melba, Mme. Pompadour and Lolita --Davies has something amusing and original to say. What he states about A Book of Characters by Daniel George applies equally to this one: ``It does not lend itself to gobbling, greedy reading, but it is a wonderful bedside book . . . not a mere compilation; it is in the variety of people included, and the way in which their oddities are played off against one another, that the author shows his quality.'' (Mar.)
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