Robertson Davies

Novelist, Author

1913 – 1995

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Who was Robertson Davies?

William Robertson Davies, CC, OOnt, FRSC, FRSL was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is variously said to have gladly accepted for himself and to have detested. Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, a graduate residential college associated with the University of Toronto.

Famous Quotes:

  • Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.
  • A Librettist is a mere drudge in the world of opera.
  • If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you. This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language.
  • The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
  • He types his labored column -- weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.
  • You never see what you want to see, forever playing to the gallery.
  • Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
  • Comparatively few people know what a million dollars actually is. To the majority it is a gaseous concept, swelling or decreasing as the occasion suggests. In the minds of politicians, perhaps more than anywhere, the notion of a million dollars has this accordion-like ability to expand or contract; if they are disposing of it, the million is a pleasing sum, reflecting warmly upon themselves; if somebody else wants it, it becomes a figure of inordinate size, not to be compassed by the rational mind.
  • The world is burdened with young fogies. Old men with ossified minds are easily dealt with. But men who look young, act young and everlastingly harp on the fact that they are young, but who nevertheless think and act with a degree of caution that would be excessive in their grandfathers, are the curse of the world. Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don't know what they are conserving.
  • What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us.

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Born
Aug 28, 1913
Thamesville
Also known as
  • William Robertson Davies
Religion
  • Anglicanism
Nationality
  • Canada
Profession
Education
  • Upper Canada College
  • Queen's University
  • Balliol College
Lived in
  • Chatham-Kent
Died
Dec 2, 1995
Orangeville

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Robertson Davies." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 30 May 2024. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/robertson_davies>.

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