25th Trillium Award

The (Quotable) Dirty Dozen, with Barry Dempster

Share |
Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster is best-known for his Governor General's Award-nominated poetry and for his role as editor at Brick Books. This is an exciting season for fans of Barry's work: not only did we see the publication of his latest book of poetry, Invisible Dogs (Brick Books), we've also been rewarded with a novel, his first in 20 years. The Outside World is an absorbing coming-of-age story set in the suburbs of 1960s Toronto, and it's just been released with Pedlar Press. In his very own version of the Open Book Dirty Dozen, Barry shares twelve memorable quotes that describe his life and state of mind right now.

Barry Dempster will launch The Outside World at Ben McNally Books in Toronto on Thursday, December 12. Visit our Events page for details.

The (Quotable) Dirty Dozen

1/ According to Milan Kundera, Happiness is the longing for repetition. In my case, at the moment, that means lunches of baba ganoush and red pepper hummus on toasted President?s Choice whole grain English muffins.

2/ Melodious rolls the world from God?s right hand, said Albert Verwey. Lately, God has been sounding a lot like Bettye LaVette?s version of Nights in White Satin.

3/ If you want to be true to life, start lying about it, wrote John Fowles. Already sick and tired of being an only child by the time I started kindergarten, the first big whopper I told was that I had a younger sister who could do amazing things like holding her breath underwater for the entire George Beverly Shea version of How Great Thou Art.

4/ Rilke lamented Days in which the minutes passed like years. Despite good intentions, I check my watch at least 67 times in ten minutes of mindfulness meditation.

5/ Inspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance, Jean Anouilh assured. Thus my advice to give office hours to the muse whether or not the muse actually ever shows up.

6/ A tree reaching up to heaven must have roots reaching down to hell, thus spake Nietzsche. As you can imagine, I?m not much fun at parties.

7/ My favourite quote is Paul Eluard?s I must not look on reality as being like myself. At this particular point in time, reality appears to be a plucked, headless chicken running madly around my backyard.

8/ Philippe Haeck says that there is much to gain in knowing who really speaks when we speak. In my adolescence, my mother swore that I sounded like a combination of Groucho Marx and the devil.

9/ There is a difference between faith and the capacity to be awestruck, A.N. Wilson promised, which is the only explanation for why Nicole Kidman hasn?t become a religion.

10/ William Johnston shouted that if you say God is there, you imply that he is not here. But I?m often in two places at the same time. What?s God?s problem?

11/ Thoreau must have been thinking about me when he said that a thinker?s weight is in his thought, not in his tread. At 6 foot three, I waver somewhere around 138 pounds.

12/ It was. It will never be again, Paul Auster moaned. Having a second piece of key lime pie tonight was my attempt to prove him wrong.

Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the GG Award, is the author of two
collections of stories and a novel, The Ascension Of Jesse Rapture. In 2010,
he was a finalist for the Ontario Premiers Award for Excellence in the Arts. His second novel, The Outside World, has just been released with Pedlar Press.

For more information about The Outside World please visit the Pedlar Press website.

Pedlar Press titles may be purchased at your local independent bookseller, or ordered from www.amazon.ca or directly from Pedlar. For purchases from Pedlar, contact Beth Follett at: [email protected].

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search