Critical Essays On Short Stories

Critical Essays On Short Stories-62
He worked at a variety of odd jobs -- as a photographer's assistant on the Boulevard des Italiens, and as a door-to-door salesman of paint, shellac and glue, among other jobs -- while yearning to write.'' I could not see that I had anything to say except that I was alive,'' he later related in '' Midnight Oil'' (1971), the second volume of his memoirs.How much the eccentric has to tell us of what is central!

He worked at a variety of odd jobs -- as a photographer's assistant on the Boulevard des Italiens, and as a door-to-door salesman of paint, shellac and glue, among other jobs -- while yearning to write.'' I could not see that I had anything to say except that I was alive,'' he later related in '' Midnight Oil'' (1971), the second volume of his memoirs.How much the eccentric has to tell us of what is central!

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He wrote with pointillistic understanding about the lives of lower-middle-class people -- shopkeepers, pub owners, clerks, antiques dealers, housewives -- in a clear, economical, often humorous style that never showed off and never talked down to his readers.

He had an ear for dialogue and an eye for detail.'' How compassionately, but not emotionally, he deals with all the complicated domestic politics of the respectable poor, the martyred or termagant wives, the feckless or drunken husbands, and that terror that walketh by noonday, the mother-in-law,'' Robertson Davies wrote in The Washington Post.

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The characters that fill them -- erratic, unsure, unsafe, devious, stubborn, restless and desirous, absurd and passionate, all peculiar unto themselves -- hold a claim on us that is not to be denied.

They demand and get our rapt attention, for in their revelation of their lives, the secrets of our own lives come into view.

At 20, he moved to Paris with very little money in his pocket, vowing to himself never to return.

A Salesman in Paris, A Journalist in Spain The trip turned out to be relatively short, just two years, but the young writer thrived in the city's culture and ambience.

'' This is literary achievement at a very high level.'' Analyzing the Classics Without Airs or Pretense Sir Victor's fourscore-and-some short stories were collected in 1990 in a single volume, '' The Complete Short Stories.'' Among the most famous are '' When My Girl Comes Home,'' an account of a young woman's surprisingly prosperous return to England after World War II; the author's personal favorite, '' A Sense of Humor,'' a sharp little tale about the romance between an exceedingly silly girl and a man whose family is in the funeral business, and '' The Camberwell Beauty,'' the story of an old antiques dealer altered by his marriage to a very young woman.

In '' The Fly in the Ointment,'' a well-known story that is clearly autobiographical, Sir Victor describes a young man's awkward visit to his father's near-empty office on the day his father's company goes into receivership.

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