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The selected diaries of Robertson Davies, one of Canada's literary legends, and a celebrated playwright, novelist, journalist, and academic. Published for the first time, the diaries are a self-portrait of a brilliant and charismatic man and an insider's view of a writer's life and the Canadian cultural scene in the 1960s. Robertson Davies (1913-1995) had a remarkable literary career that extended through the entire second half of the twentieth century. After university in Canada and at Oxford, Davies had begun working in British theatre, but with the outbreak of war in 1939 he returned to Canada where he swiftly established himself as an outstanding editor, columnist and literary critic, and as an increasingly prominent playwright and novelist. Tall, ample, and bearded, with a richly developed theatrical voice, he had an imposing and distinctive appearance that made him seem older than he was. His rather magisterial presence hid well the mixture of ambition, anxieties, and insecurities, and often conflicting perceptions and emotions that all bubbled furiously within and that are recorded in the diaries. Chronicling his time as editor of the Peterborough "Examiner," his role as the founding master of Massey College, and most of all his life as a writer, from the failure of a play in New York to the beginnings of an idea for a novel that would become "Fifth Business, A Celtic Temperament "is entertaining and illuminating and a major addition to Davies's body of work.
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