An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, by Charles Ritchie

By Charles Ritchie

Charles Ritchie’s first quantity of diaries, The Siren Years, created a sensation while it used to be released in 1974. in addition to profitable the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, it was once hailed by means of 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 formative years in Halifax and his profession at Oxford – the years while Charles Ritchie grew to become from a callow, blundering formative years right into a callow, blundering younger man.

As those diaries convey, 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 booklet, however it offers a vibrant photo of 2 worlds – Halifax and Oxford within the mid-twenties – which are now gone. It additionally introduces us to an brilliant variety of characters, however the such a lot stunning 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

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My reading about girls in stories and my slight experiments have not really made me sophisticated about them. When I got to King’s, I was summoned before a tribunal of sophomores for wearing spats, which is forbidden to freshmen. The usual penalty is to burn the offender’s spats, but they made a concession in my case and only confiscated them for the rest of the term. As a matter of fact they weren’t mine at all but only an old pair that Peter had lent me. After lectures I ran into Professor Walker in the corridor.

It is quite hard work. The first thing I had to learn was to keep my arm straight as everything is done with the wrist and I began by lunging about the way I have seen duels in the movies. 24 March 1925. I devoted the whole day to my thesis on government and my head whirls with town councils and municipal by-laws. Today our cat was chloroformed out of mistaken kindness because her leg was broken. I knew her better than anyone and I am sure she was still interested in life. In the evening old Mrs.

Of course, the family have always been Conservatives and so I am, though I don’t know much about politics. Also, all our friends and relations are very much against the Americans. Mr. Whitman says he would “prefer even the Russian Communists to Americans,” and he is the most conservative person I know. As for Cousin Susie, when her sister’s child died (she had married an American) Susie said, “Well, it is sad, of course, that he died, but if he had lived he would have grown up an American,” but then she is a bit crazy on the subject of our Loyalist ancestry as if the American Revolution had happened yesterday.

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