Journeyman: Travels of a Writer

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Harper Flamingo Canada/HarperCollins Publishers, 2003 - Authors, Canadian - 320 pages
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Despite his fear of flying and his distaste for speed, Timothy Findley was a traveler--embarking on trips to write, to read, to speak and to enjoy. Many of his journeys involved a unique vehicle, Tiff's own imagination--a magic carpet that transports his readers into his unforgettable stories.

Journeyman is a collection of the voyages that informed and shaped what, and how, Timothy Findley wrote. Lovingly compiled and annotated by Bill Whitehead, Findley's life partner, Journeyman is a combination of journal entries, speeches, letters, poems, anecdotes, and excerpts from plays. The first of four sections, "Going Places," chronicles excursions made by land, water and air: a comical tribute to Tiff and Bill's first car, a sagegreen Valiant; a surreal trip to Australia, where novelist Ken Kesey continued his pub reading despite a fist fight next door; and a Thanksgiving prayer written after September 11, 2001. "From Past Imperfect to Future Tense" is a time-travel flight through memory and imagination. Readers will meet a few of Tiff's ancestors, including Uncle Frank Bull, who transformed himself into Maestro Francois von Buell to escape the stifling bonds of Methodist Upper Canadian society. "Pen Power" is all about writers and writing, and "Theatre Tours and Final Curtain" takes us on an insider's tour of Tiff's favorite world. The book ends with Tiff's last written words, three poignant final lines of a one-act play.

Journeyman is a lasting gift from Timothy Findley to all of his many fans.

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The Countries of Invention
Personal Past
Historical Research

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About the author (2003)

Timothy Findley was born in 1930. A native of Toronto, Canada, novelist and playwright Timothy Findley initially embarked upon an acting career. Findley worked for the Canadian Stratford Festival and later, after study at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, he toured Britain, Europe, and the United States as a contract player. While performing in The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, Findley was encouraged by the playwright to write fiction. Influenced by film techniques, Findley's first novel, The Last of the Crazy People (1967) is a penetrating look at a family of "emotional cripples" from a child's perspective. With his character Hooker, Findley captures the irrational logic of a child's mind without treating childhood sentimentally.The Butterfly Plague followed in 1969. The Wars (1978), Findley's most successful novel, has been translated into numerous languages and was made into a film. The Wars uses the device of a story-within-a-story to illustrate how a personality transcends elemental forces even while being destroyed by them. In 1981 Famous Last Words was published. This fictionalization of Hugh Selwyn Mauberley by Ezra Pound, a work that was already a "fictional fact," examines fascism. In Not Wanted on the Voyage (1984), Findley rewrites the story of Noah's Ark by giving voices to women, children, workers, animals, and folklore creatures, all of whom question Noah's authority. The novel turns into a parable that seems to challenge imperialism, eugenics, fascism, and any other force that endangers human survival. Again repeating an earlier text, Findley turns to Thomas Mann's Death in Venice to write The Telling of Lies (1986). This novel draws parallels between World War II atrocities and contemporary North America, which Findley sees as a metaphoric concentration camp. Findley died on June 20, 2002 in Provence, France

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