(William) Robertson Davies 1913–
(Also wrote under pseudonym of Samuel Marchbanks) Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, and publisher.
An outstanding figure in Canadian letters, Davies satirizes Canadian provincialism and manners in his writings. Although he was a strong force in Canadian theater and journalism for many years, Davies's fame primarily rests on his novels. His Salterton trilogy (Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice, and A Mixture of Frailties) is a caricature of a bourgeois Canadian university town. The Deptford trilogy (Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders) which followed, focuses on the individual's need to accept the irrational, unconscious side of the self. In his recent novel, The Rebel Angels, Davies once again utilizes a university setting and academic characters to create a biting satire laced with his eclectic themes.
That Davies has been considerably influenced by the theories of Carl Jung is evident in the mystical, magical, and mythical themes which pervade his work. Because Davies's style reflects a wide range of intellectual interests and expertise, it is considered pedantic by some critics.
(See also CLC, Vols. 2, 7, 13 and Contemporary Authors, Vols. 33-36, rev. ed.)