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June 5th, 2018
A Journey Through Timothy Fedley’s Life
Many people aspire to become great writer, but very few achieve them. One of the major defining characteristics of a great writer, is that they leave something valuable behind. A recipient of the Governor General’s Awards, Order of Ontario, Order of Canada and Trillium Book Award can be considered a great writer. One such writer is Timothy Findley, who not only received these awards, but created timeless works such as The Wars, Headhunter, Pilgrim and Elizabeth Beth. He invented a literary movement/writing style called the Southern Ontario Gothic.
Timothy Irving Frederick Findley was born on October 30, 1930, in Toronto. Findley was one of three sons and was raised in the upper-class Rosedale District, attending St. Andrew’s Collage, a boarding school. Findley had to leave school during grade 10 due to health reasons. (Anthony) Findley declared his homosexuality as a teenager but married the actress Janet Reid in 1959 which lasted about 3 months before a divorce. Findley eventually found his partner Bill Whitehead, whom he met in 1962. Revealing oneself as a homosexual in the 1940s was a brave act to perform that required tremendous courage, as homosexuality was considered a disease, an abomination and persecuted in those days. Findley publicly announced his homosexuality in the 1970s, taking everyone by surprise. (Dennis) Findley was a symbol of hope for the homosexual community who were afraid to reveal themselves in that era.
Findley pursued a career in arts, studying acting and dancing and was a successful actor before turning into a writer. He has played many distinguishable roles and co-stared amongst great actor such as Alec Guinness. Ruth Gordon, a close friend of Findley inspired him to write and later encouraged him to pursue writing after his first publication of the “Tamarack Review”. (Dennis) Findley's first two books “The last of the Crazy People” and “The Butterfly Plague” were rejected by Canadian publishers and were published in the United States and Britain. This incidence is quite ironic as one of the greatest Canadian writer was rejected Canadian publishers. Findley was heavily influenced by Jungian psychology. Findley’s books often portrayed a protagonist who was struggling to find the moral, ethical ...