Thursday, February 25, 2010

Love and Trevor

You must know, you from the ether catching these digital blips, that I love William Trevor

The problem is that love is a loaded, overused word. Worship did cross my mind but that is another ornament from the cliché box. Better love than worship - cliché-wise.

I was introduced to Trevor through this New Yorker fiction podcast (Jhumpa Lahiri reads 'A Day', a short story by William Trevor.) I found the story so riveting, so moving. Subsequently I have been steadily working my way through the William Trevor canon, finding, with every new story or novel of his, such brilliance, compassion and insight that I cannot but read more and read again. 

Last year, after having read only a few of his short story collections, I decided I wanted to read one of his novels. I chose The Story of Lucy Gault because it was convenient, having earlier spotted it at a book sale and instantly acquiring it for my library. That the novel would be the most wrenching one I had ever read was something I did not anticipate. Trevor does something magical with his sentences - they are not ostentatious; theirs is a graceful beauty, of every word, every phrase joining hands to bring life alive. Many times, after being shaken or moved by a pivotal point in the narrative, I have gone back to read earlier passages to see how he set it up. The truth is his devices are so masterful that his narratives are seamless. 

This morning, as I turned to read the last page of Love and Summer, containing the two and a half lines that would complete the book, I realized that I did not feel sad that the book was read. Instead I was filled with gratitude that such a book had been written. 

Pureness of Prose. 

Sheer Understated Brilliance.

A Master.

PS: I've been excited ever since The Collected Stories of William Trevor came out. Somehow I forgot to buy a copy until a friend sent me a note to say she saw the book in her library and immediately thought of me. Moments after reading her message I placed an order. The book will arrive in a week or so. I am looking forward to March and the rest of my life. There's pretty good company.


Raji said...

I enjoyed listening to the short story "A Day". It's a simple story and the narration was beautiful. So Trevor is definitely in my list of authors to read. Thanks Echo :-)

Saumya said...

Thanks Echo....I'll add William Trevor to my list to read too.

Anonymous said...

Checking your blog after some time. Makeover is nice and it goes very well with your writing style. Nice review.
- Arul.

Echo/Lavanya said...

Raji - yes yes will keep reminding you

Saumya - gladly. Do try him

Arul - thanks