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William Trevor : a study of the short fiction

Author: Suzanne Morrow Paulson
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993.
Series: Twayne's studies in short fiction, no. 48.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Intensely poetic, understated, and ironic, William Trevor's fiction contains the very hallmarks of the modern short story, following a long tradition of Irish and British literature about the often painful and grueling route people travel in the simple effort to integrate themselves into society. In his many poignant stories - among them "Mulvihill's Memorial," "The Mark-2 Wife," "The Day We Got Drunk on Cake,"  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Paulson, Suzanne Morrow.
William Trevor.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993
(OCoLC)647108133
Named Person: William Trevor; William Trevor; William Trevor; William Trevor
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Suzanne Morrow Paulson
ISBN: 0805708588 9780805708585
OCLC Number: 27684134
Description: xxii, 190 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: pt. 1. The Short Fiction. Trauma and Talk: Suffering, Self-Defense, and Disinterested Bystanders. The Sins of the Fathers and the Destruction of the Alienated Child. Stories about Courtship: Bachelors/Spinsters, Fathers/Daughters. Commerce, Communication, and the Business Class: The Comic Tales --
pt. 2. The Writer. Interview, 1992 / Suzanne Paulson. Interview, 1989 / Mira Stout. The Irish Short Story. The Novelist's World. "Too Blase for Rape" --
pt. 3. The Critics. Robert Nye. V.S. Pritchett. Patrick Skene Catling. John J. Stinson. Murray Bramwell. Ariel Daigre. Kristin Morrison. Michael Ponsford. Robert E. Rhodes. Gail Caldwell. Michael Heyward. John Banville. Dean Flower.
Series Title: Twayne's studies in short fiction, no. 48.
Responsibility: Suzanne Morrow Paulson.

Abstract:

Intensely poetic, understated, and ironic, William Trevor's fiction contains the very hallmarks of the modern short story, following a long tradition of Irish and British literature about the often painful and grueling route people travel in the simple effort to integrate themselves into society. In his many poignant stories - among them "Mulvihill's Memorial," "The Mark-2 Wife," "The Day We Got Drunk on Cake," "Lovers of Their Time," and "The Ballroom of Romance"--Trevor reveals his mastery of tragi-comedy, whereby human interaction at even the most parochial level lends to an understanding of the universal. In this first book-length study of Trevor's stories, Suzanne Morrow Paulson provides a comprehensive overview of this Anglo-Irish writer's craft, examining his "masterpieces" of the form, his proficiency with the comic as well as the tragic. Trevor writes a personal sort of fiction, Paulson observes, rendering the grotesque aspects of human nature under stress, yet he transcends the personal because his art encourages sympathy for even the most ridiculous figures. Refuting critics who find his work dour and pessimistic, Paulson finds that most of Trevor's stories convey a genuine optimism and a love of people - a love based on a profound understanding of suffering, a sympathetic acceptance of human weakness, and shrewd insights into social hierarchies. Paulson finds Trevor at his best in stories that express his sympathy for women, sensitive men, and adolescents who suffer from destructive stereotypes of feminine and masculine behavior. Paulson assigns the fiction discussed to four thematic groups: stories that explore the psychology of coping or failing to cope with trauma; stories about fathers and mothers who cannot understand themselves or their adolescent children; stories depicting the suffering of adolescent girls, spinsters, wives, and mothers as they conform to destructive stereotypes governing proper female behavior; and stories concerned with materialistic values promoted by advertising and the mass media. In Parts 2 and 3 of this clear, concise introduction to the Trevor short-fiction canon Paulson has compiled, first, Trevor's comments on his art, his reader, and his community (including an original 1989 interview with the author), and, second, a survey of responses to Trevor's work and a brief gathering of articles and reviews published in Ireland, England, France, Canada, and America.

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