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 through reviewers on each side of the Atlantic. An urge for food for all times, his moment quantity, first released in 1977, offers along with his early life in Halifax and his occupation at Oxford – the years while Charles Ritchie became 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 – 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 long past. It additionally introduces us to an impressive variety of characters, however the such a lot magnificent of all is the younger Charles Ritchie himself.
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Additional info for An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927
However, there are limits to one’s tolerance of the adolescent ego. To publish the whole of these diaries would be to flood the reader with a spate of words – often repetitious and finally exhausting. So there has had to be a good deal of “culling” – also some telescoping – of the material. This has at times involved the joining up of scenes and episodes originally scattered in fragmentary form over a number of entries. Also, for reasons which will become obvious, names of certain persons have had to be changed.
Of course, she is right, but it is such a fag. She is always after me to ride more often and to work harder. I think she wants me to be a kind of Renaissance man who can do everything from inventing gun-powder to writing sonnets. 11 January 1925. 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.
I said, “I would break stones on the road if I could marry you,” but I didn’t pursue the subject because I do want to go to Oxford. Still, when we got back to the Almons’ drive and were walking up and down, I took off my signet ring and asked her to wear it, explaining that it was only a loan. 21 January 1925. To dinner with Peter’s grandparents, the Archibalds. What a gloomy house that is. The dark panelling in the drawing-room and all those dark pictures which Mrs. Archibald says are Rembrandts and then in the small sitting-room there is a green china toad, which is really a spittoon for Mr.
An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927 by Charles Ritchie