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By William Trevor
Autobiographical essays, approximately humans and areas, own enthusiasms and fascinations, that experience remained snagged in William Trevor's reminiscence through the years. He writes of formative years, collage, early days in Dublin, and writing in London. The essays remove darkness from Trevor's tales and novels.
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He might have said the same, but I doubt that that was where the truth lay. They were victims of their innocence when chance threw them together and passion beguiled them, leaving them to live with a mistake and to watch their field of battle expanding with each day that passed. They gave their love to their children and were loved in return, fiercely, unwaveringly. But not for a moment could that heal the wounds they carried to their graves. (1992) Miss Quirke L ONG BEFORE I was sent away to boarding-school there was Miss Quirke.
The landscape becomes more ragged on that journey. Gorse grows well. Speckled rock-surfaces break out in the patchwork of fields. Once, the country-women of West Cork wore strangely hooded black cloaks as they walked these roads and lanes or sat in their donkey-butts. They greeted you from the shadowy depths, their easy laughter dispelling the suggestion of the sinister that this dress evoked. To this day, on a Sunday, their menfolk pitch heavy metal bowls along the same roads, laying wagers and marking with a sod torn from a ditch the length achieved by each.
Youghal itself is a town that hardly anyone dislikes. Once mildly fashionable as a watering-place, it attracted Pierrots and Punch and Judy shows, and on its vast smooth sands old seaside artists painted garish pictures with coloured powders: peacocks and castles and women in hats, sometimes an annunciation. Beach pyjamas, often garish also, were on parade from June to August. A man called T o m m y Atkins saved the life of a summer visitor, a woman w h o afterwards lay plump and unconscious on the sand in a blue bathing dress and a white rubber cap.
Excursions in the Real World by William Trevor