William Trevor Long Fiction Analysis
William Trevor began to write fiction in his thirties and soon became one of the most revered and prolific writers in the English language. Influenced by the popular Irish writer James Joyce and the English writer Charles Dickens—writers from the two countries in which Trevor has lived—he is known for his lyrical and psychologically rich fiction, in which a moral vision shines through with unusual clarity. With a wry and often macabre sense of humor, he develops characters who are social outsiders and eccentrics, putting them into situations in which they must make decisions that irreversibly affect their lives and the lives of others. The story is always at the heart of Trevor’s work, for he is a consummate narrator who weaves tales that capture readers in his fictional webs.
The Old Boys
The Old Boys, Trevor’s second novel, opens with the meeting of a group of “old boys,” a committee of an alumni association of an English public school that is five hundred years old. As it is a tradition of the association that members do not serve on the committee until they are very senior and that all members of the committee during a two-year term of office should have been at the school at the same time, these individuals are indeed appropriately described as “old boys.” This small group of men, all between seventy and seventy-five years old, includes Mr. Turtle, Mr. Nox, Mr. Swabey-Boyns, Mr. Jaraby, General Sanctuary,...
(The entire section is 2218 words.)
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