By Charles Ritchie
Charles Ritchie’s first quantity of diaries, The Siren Years, created a sensation whilst it was once released in 1974. in addition to profitable the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, it used to be hailed by way of reviewers on either side of the Atlantic. An urge for food for all times, his moment quantity, first released in 1977, bargains along with his early life in Halifax and his profession at Oxford – the years whilst Charles Ritchie grew to become from a callow, blundering formative years right into a callow, blundering younger man.
As those diaries exhibit, Charles Ritchie had a pointy eye, a prepared ear, a hugely constructed feel of the absurd, and – regardless of his unsatisfied knack of touchdown ?at on his face – a radical “appetite for life.”
This isn't just a hilariously humorous publication, however it offers a brilliant photo of 2 worlds – Halifax and Oxford within the mid-twenties – which are now gone. It additionally introduces us to an amazing variety of characters, however the so much extraordinary 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
I went down to the stables to see William as Mother had the idea of sending him with an extra horse to bring me back from King’s College as the snow is so heavy in the woods that when I walk home that way I am up to my middle in no time. William issued forth from his lair behind the harness room in a very bad temper. He has been on another drinking bout but I gave him the message and he came for me after lectures. It was most embarrassing; a whole lot of the students gathered on the doorstep at King’s to watch me mount as no one dreams of riding to college.
All this talk about the future, my future. How do I know I’ll be alive this time next year? I may die young like Meisner at King’s who died of pneumonia last year, just my age. I don’t mind dying all that much. I often think of it. There could be a lot worse things, only I don’t feel that I will die. That seems to be something that happens to other people. No, I shall go on and on as a bank clerk in a small town, and take to drink like so many of my family, and day after day write this damned diary about nothing, and Nothing will be my name.
I went back to tea with the Wilmots. Mrs. Wilmot is rather a formidable lady. I sat on a seat made from elephant tusks and talked incessantly. The Wilmots have a niece staying with them whose father and mother were killed in a train accident. She is called Miss Ferguson and is peculiarly plain and fat and wears glasses cut in shape like a pie-crust table. She told us about California where her family lived and how much more friendly the people are there than here. She said she didn’t expect a boy to spend money on taking her out but would be quite happy to go for a walk in the woods.
An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927 by Charles Ritchie