Jack Matthews

Jack Matthews is a professor of English at Ohio University and a writer of stories whose collections include Ghostly Populations and Dubious Persuasions.

Magnanimous Cuckolds

Jack Matthews, 10 November 1988

No novelist can bring off a committee meeting with quite the flourish and high style of Robertson Davies. So it is good to report that his latest novel, The Lyre of Orpheus, opens (the theatrical metaphor is appropriate) upon a meeting in a Canadian city, presumably Toronto, of the board of the Cornish Foundation. They are gathered to decide whether they should subsidise a project which Arthur Cornish characterises as ‘crackbrained’ and ‘absurd’, adding that it ‘could prove incalculably expensive, and violates every dictate of financial prudence’, after which he recommends that, in view of all these disadvantages, they should, of course, vote to go ahead with it. And with this breezy paradox, Davies’s latest novel – last in the Cornish trilogy, which includes The Rebel Angels and What’s bred in the bone – is off and running.’


Karl Miller, 2 April 1987

Ghosts did not go out when electric light came in, though it could be felt at the time that this was bound to happen. They can look like a trick of the moonlight and candlelight of the past: and...

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