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 whilst it was once released in 1974. in addition to profitable the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, it was once hailed via 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 adolescence in Halifax and his profession at Oxford – the years whilst 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 willing ear, a hugely built feel of the absurd, and – regardless of his unsatisfied knack of touchdown ?at on his face – an intensive “appetite for life.”

This isn't just a hilariously humorous publication, however it provides a bright photograph of 2 worlds – Halifax and Oxford within the mid-twenties – which are now long past. It additionally introduces us to an remarkable variety of characters, however the such a lot stunning of all is the younger Charles Ritchie himself.

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Extra resources for An Appetite for Life: The Education of a Young Diarist, 1924-1927

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My father, who was much older than she, died nearly ten years ago. I don’t know exactly what her age is. I never think of her as being any particular age – probably forty something. I suppose you would say she is handsome rather than beautiful but neither word is quite right. She has the most magnificent dark eyes that can fascinate or scare you depending on her mood. She is generous, compassionate, impatient, and easily bored. She is a born mimic who could imitate anyone. She is a chain-smoker and a terrific tea-drinker.

1 March 1925. I have very few friends here, I mean friends of my own age, apart from Peter. Of course, there are lots of people about the house always and I am not at all lonely, but I can’t seem to get on with my fellow students at King’s. I am afraid they think I am affected or stuck up, when I want to be accepted by them, but I can’t seem to put a foot right, and the harder I try the worse it gets. For instance, last summer we were all swimming in the Northwest Arm and three or four of the boys were lying sunning themselves on the wharf in their bathing suits, including Fabian and Harry and Dick, and I climbed out of the water and up the ladder to join them.

He is a human being and never makes me feel self-conscious. Mother would like to convert the lodge into a pretty small house and offered it to Mrs. ” Mother says she is a silly ass. 9 February 1925. I dreamed of Katherine last night. Her body was beside me in bed, her lips on mine. When I got up and went to the window all I could see was a patch of gravel glistening wetly. The lawn and the flower beds and the big maple tree in front of the house were all blotted out by motionless, silent fog, and I could taste the salty taste of the fog as I leant out of the window.

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