Ravenblog: V.S. Pritchett – British Author, 1923-1997

I am reading a book my brother pushed on me, not that I protested, by V.S. Pritchett. Who the heck is that? Well, that’s what I was wondering, and the book I am reading, Midnight Oil, is an autobiographical story, so apparently someone cares enough about who he is to publish multiple editions of a book about him. It doesn’t start out so promising, because Pritchett describes himself probably quite accurately as having been a rather naive, silly lad in his teens and early 20’s, not really self-disciplined enough to get past calling himself a writer to actually write much. But, the story caught my attention when he started talking about his first correspondent’s job in#ireland in the early 1920’s.

What was so interesting about the 1920’s? That was during the Irish Civil War, and he was traveling around Ireland, visiting towns and writing articles about his experiences DURING the civil war that was going on all around him, not because he was on either side of the war initially, but because he needed a job and ran out of options in Paris. Already it sounds as if he is starting to side with the Irish, which I must admit I do too in that conflict, so I guess maybe partly I like Pritchett more because I like his sentiments about that conflict. (I like Britain, a lot, but the British attitude towards Ireland and all things Irish was awful for many centuries leading up to that civil war.)

V.S. Pritchett was born Victor Sawdon Pritchett on December 16, 1900. He died almost 30 years ago, in March 1997. He wrote lots of short stories, collected in a bunch of different books, plus nonfiction and 5 novels. In 1923 he started working as the Ireland correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, a paper he could get work from because his parents were avid Christian Scientists. He was eventually also sent to #spain , and Pritchett’s first book, Marching Spain (1928), is about his adventures in Spain. He wrote about his experiences in Ireland in his second book, Clare Drummer (1929). There is a V.S. Pritchett Memorial award now, and he apparently was a well-known name in literary circles, before I was born, of course.

#books by V.S. Pritchett- (list quoted from wikipedia, with a few of my own notes-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._S._Pritchett)

Marching Spain, 1928

Clare Drummer, 1929

The Spanish Virgin and Other Stories, 1932 – his first successful book, launched his career as an author

Shirley Sanz, 1932

Nothing Like Leather, 1935

Dead Man Leading, 1937

This England, 1938 (editor)

You Make Your Own Life, 1938

In My Good Books, 1942

It May Never Happen, 1945

Novels and Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1945 (editor)

Build the Ships, 1946

The Living Novel, 1946

Turnstile One, 1948 (editor)

Why Do I Write?: An Exchange of Views Between Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, and V. S. Pritchett, 1948 – this looks really interesting

Mr Beluncle, 1951

Books in General, 1953 – as a bibliophile I am very curious about this one

The Spanish Temper, 1954

Collected Stories, 1956

The Sailor, The Sense of Humour and Other Stories, 1956

When My Girl Comes Home, 1961

London Perceived, 1962

The Key to My Heart, 1963

Foreign Faces, 1964

New York Proclaimed, 1965

The Working Novelist, 1965

The Saint and Other Stories, 1966

Dublin, 1967

A Cab at the Door, 1968 – another memoir

Blind Love, 1969

George Meredith and English Comedy, 1970

Midnight Oil, 1971 – What I am reading now, a memoir)

Penguin Modern Stories, 1971 (with others)

Balzac, 1973

The Camberwell Beauty, 1974

The Gentle Barbarian: the Life and Work of Turgenev, 1977

Selected Stories, 1978

On the Edge of the Cliff, 1979

Myth Makers, 1979

The Tale Bearers, 1980

The Oxford Book of Short Stories, 1981 (editor)

The Turn of the Years, 1982 (with R. Stone)

Collected Stories, 1982

More Collected Stories, 1983

The Other Side of a Frontier, 1984

A Man of Letters, 1985

Chekhov, 1988

A Careless Widow and Other Stories, 1989

Complete Short Stories, 1990

At Home and Abroad, 1990

Lasting Impressions, 1990

Complete Collected Essays, 1991

A Cab at the Door & Midnight Oil, 1994—ISBN 0-679-60103-1

The Pritchett Century, 1997

Looks like I need to add a few of these to my wishlist! Sources: wikipedia (to fill in the stuff I hadn’t gotten to yet) and Midnight Oil (the memoir i am reading, which covers his early life, and which I am only 100 pages into right now, thus the need for wikipedia to tell me a bit of context that I haven’t gotten to yet in the book).

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About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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