Robertson Davies (was: DWJ's faults)

Corrick, Georgia g.corrick at
Tue Mar 12 04:16:09 EST 2002

Melissa wrote:

> Like Robertson Davies, who is...sorry, 
> I have just
> not the faintest idea what the point is.  If someone could 
> please explain
> Modern Fiction to me I would be very grateful.

Well, Modern Fiction I think I'll leave to someone else - but have you tried
Davies's Salterton Trilogy? The first book, Tempest Tost, has a wonderful
scene at a party where two embarrassed people who are thought by others to
be engaged are repeatedly paired together in party games involving physical
contact: both extremely funny and cringingly awful. I have problems with
Davies when he gets into Jungian theory (as in the Deptford Trilogy) or just
a tad too exuberant and off-the-wall for me (parts of the Cornish trilogy)
but for the intense detail of small-town life and the complexity of
relationships I think the Salterton trilogy is wonderful. I'm surprised you
imply he typifies Modern Fiction for you, as I think of him as quite
un-modern - very long novels often focussing on the relationships of groups
of people in communities (small town/university etc), unafraid of big
emotions, often not very much happening.


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