By Charles Ritchie
Charles Ritchie’s first quantity of diaries, The Siren Years, created a sensation while it was once released in 1974. in addition to successful the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, it was once hailed through reviewers on either side of the Atlantic. An urge for food for all times, his moment quantity, first released in 1977, offers along with his adolescence in Halifax and his profession at Oxford – the years while Charles Ritchie grew to become from a callow, blundering early life right into a callow, blundering younger man.
As those diaries exhibit, Charles Ritchie had a pointy eye, a prepared ear, a hugely built experience of the absurd, and – regardless of his unsatisfied knack of touchdown ?at on his face – an intensive “appetite for life.”
This is not just a hilariously humorous publication, however it provides a vibrant photograph of 2 worlds – Halifax and Oxford within the mid-twenties – which are now long past. It additionally introduces us to an mind-blowing diversity of characters, however the so much miraculous of all is the younger Charles Ritchie himself.
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Extra info for An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927
Mother was a little upset … not much. I remember the summer when I was fifteen when he was in love with her and used to come to the house so often when he was in command of the fleet here. He was a cheery old boy with poppy eyes, very kind to Roley and me. He owned an ancient castle in England and wanted Mother to marry him but unfortunately he had a wife already, but he said he thought she would give him a divorce. Mother never took him seriously, but she did write to a friend in Bermuda to find out whether he had gone about proposing to women when he was in command there and the answer was, “Nothing of the sort,” so she thought that at any rate he was in earnest, which pleased her.
What is more, she announced she was an atheist, which shocked her evangelical family. ” She should be more interesting to talk to than she is but her conversation is mostly dry pebbles. She and Ella are tremendous self-scratchers. When Ella was talking today she nearly tore her necklace to pieces with clawing at it. When Eliza gave a lecture last term at Dalhousie on Sanskrit she scratched herself all the time in her most intimate parts. It was quite embarrassing but she was unconscious of it. Walked to town in the rain in my brown tweeds with the coat collar turned up, smoking a cigarette, when I ought to have stayed at home working at algebra.
There is a big and very comfortable sofa in front of the fireplace. Mother has her desk by the window. Whenever I think of The Bower I think of this room. I cannot be bothered describing the upstairs and the bedrooms. There are quite a lot of bedrooms but not so many as you might think considering the number of people who come to stay. There is only one upstairs bathroom and it is very unpopular to stay there any longer than you must. My own bedroom is sacred to me. In it is the table at which I am writing and looking out of the window at this moment when the sun has just come out and is drying the wet gravel in the drive.
An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927 by Charles Ritchie