Timothy Findley 1930–
Canadian novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter.
With each of his books, Findley has more firmly established his place among Canada's important contemporary writers. Ambitious in his choice of themes and innovative in his handling of them, he writes of the human struggle against fate and questions the nature of self, love, and reality. Findley has examined these concerns from several different perspectives beginning with The Last of the Crazy People (1967). In this work, Findley portrays the life of a lonely and bewildered young boy whose tragic destiny is to murder his family.
Findley's most successful novel, The Wars, published in the United States in 1978, won the Governor General's Award in 1977. Written in a documentary style, it recounts the story of Robert Ross, an officer in the Canadian army during World War I. Findley here attempts to show that Ross's eventual death is both futile and triumphant. The Wars is described as a powerful account of how war simultaneously defines and destroys personality.
Famous Last Words (1982) is also related to war. In this novel, Findley molds Ezra Pound's poetic figure Hugh Selwyn Mauberley into a fully formed fictional character and traces his fascination with and involvement in fascist politics. Although described as flawed, many critics appraise Famous Last Words as an ambitious work that raises serious questions about the effects of political corruption and the meaning of history.
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 25-28, rev. ed.)