About Robertson Davies

May 18, 2021 at 8:00 pm (books)

  I was already an admirer of Stacey Abrams when I encountered her interview in the May 9 issue of the New York Times Book Review. In it, she sings the praises of the Canadian writer Robertson Davies, in particular his novel What’s Bred in the Bone. She concludes her brief but enthusiastic commentary by saying, “Rarely has anyone heard of him or the novel, which is a shame.”

I’ve heard of him! While I’ve not read What’s Bred in the Bone, the second novel in the Cornish Trilogy, I have read the three novels that constitute the Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders. This was a while back. I remember enjoying them greatly. (Davies has a gratifyingly extensive Wikipedia entry.)

Davies died in 1995, at the age of 82. His last novel, The Cunning Man, came out the previous year. When I finished reading it, I recall that I closed my eyes and sent up a brief prayer of thanks, that someone could still write superb novels like this one.

I haven’t read anything by Robertson Davies in quite some time. Now I think I’ll read What’s Bred in the Bone.

Thanks, Stacey!

I love this picture of Robertson Davies. He resembles a magus. If memory serves, it captures, to some extent, the spirit that imbues his fiction.

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