By Charles Ritchie
Charles Ritchie’s first quantity of diaries, The Siren Years, created a sensation while it used to be released in 1974. along with successful the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction, it used to be 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 while Charles Ritchie grew to become from a callow, blundering early life right into a callow, blundering younger man.
As those diaries express, Charles Ritchie had a pointy eye, a prepared ear, a hugely constructed experience of the absurd, and – regardless of his unsatisfied knack of touchdown ?at on his face – an intensive “appetite for life.”
This is not just a hilariously humorous e-book, however it offers a bright photo of 2 worlds – Halifax and Oxford within the mid-twenties – which are now long past. It additionally introduces us to an amazing diversity of characters, however the so much fantastic 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
I am quite tall, but what is the good of that? I am a compulsive diarist and a greedy reader. These are the permanent inhabitants of The Bower, but that does not account for the semi-permanent ones, as there always seem to be one or two people staying. Apart from that, the dropping-in is incessant. Never a day passes when I am sitting here like today at my window that I don’t see someone or other coming up the drive either in a motor-car or walking, sometimes just for a gossip or a cup of tea, or for no particular reason.
They live half the time with their English grandmother and half the time with the Archibalds, their Halifax grandparents. Peter, like me, is a freshman at King’s. He is a person who believes everything is possible and is full of schemes. He can be very mischievous but he is the best company in the world and would never say no to any adventure. When Miss Akroyd first came here he did not see anything in her, said she couldn’t dance well and was not worth the trouble, but strangely enough when he saw that I liked her he began pursuing her, writing her letters and telephoning her all the time and taking her to the movies.
I want this to be entirely truthful. I am writing because I do not want my life to slip through my fingers like sand. 1 January 1925. I am in love with a girl called Katherine Akroyd. Or I imagine I am. She has come to be the governess to the Almon children. The Almons are my cousins (I don’t believe anyone has as many cousins as I have in this town). They live quite near us, not far from the tram stop in Inglis Street. Katherine is quite young – seventeen. Her family are English. Her father was in the army and they live down in the Annapolis Valley where they have bought a fruit farm which is not doing at all well as they had no experience of fruit-farming.