Quotes by Paul Quarrington

"The man behind the check-in counter gives the impression that he has just axe-murdered the motel's owner (and family, and family pet) and is going through these procedures of hostelry so as not to arouse suspicion."

"I had another reason for seeking Him, for trying to espy His face, a professional one. God and literature are conflated in my mind. Why this is, I’m not sure. Perhaps because great books seem heavensent. Perhaps because I know that each nove is a puny but very valiant attempt at godlike behavior. Perhaps because there is no difference between the finest poetry and most transcendent mysticism. Perhaps because writers like Thomas Merton, who are able to enter the realm of the spirit and come away with fine, lucid prose. Perhaps because of more secular writers, like John Steinbeck, whose every passage, it seems to me, peals with religiousity and faith. It once occured to me that literature — all art really — is either talking to people about God, or talking to God about people."

"Everybody is damaged goods. Everybody got bumps and dents, ja? But sometimes two people fit together, and the bumps go into the dents, and you have a whole thing like a potato."

"Let us accept the possibility that there is, at death, not an abrupt cessation of energy, rather a dispersal. This seems more than reasonable to me. Mind you, I've owned a series of old cars, and I"m used to turning off the motor only to experience a series of rumblings and explosions that would shame many a volcano. This is the sort of thing I'm conceptualizing, a kind of clunky running-on. And just as some cars are more susceptible to this behavior, so people vary in the length of time, and the force with which, their energy sputters and gasps. . . My example is overly dramatic, but it is not wholly unreasonable, and it serves to make this genetic mutation a player at the evolutionary table. You see what I'm getting at: a biologically and evolutionally sound model for the soul. (I didn't say I'd achieved it.) Let's conceive of the soul as an aura that human beings wear on their backs, cumberson as a tortoise's carapace. Some are larger than others."

"One reason might be that if I hadn't tripped, I'd have been hamburger.

When this sort of thing occurs, people often say that there was some power greater than themselves at work. This sounds reasonable. I am just suggesting that it is not necessary to equate "greater than ourselves" with "stretched across the heavenly vault." It could mean "just slightly greater." A cocoon of energy that we carry with us, that is capable, under some conditions, of affecting physicality.

Furthermore, I conjecture that the totality of all these souls is what constitutes the Godhead. I mean this in the same sense as the "Leviathan" of Thomas Hobbes, whereby man, that is everyone together, creates "that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth or State, which is but an artificial man, though of greater statute and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defense it was created."

And that leads me to my Insight: God was not there at the beginning of evolution; God is what lies at the end of it."

Books by Paul Quarrington

  • The Favourite Game
  • 3,591 ratings
  • May 1st 1994 by New Canadian Library

    (first published 1963)

  • King Leary
  • 950 ratings
  • November 28th 2007 by Anchor Canada

    (first published 1987)

  • Whale Music
  • 718 ratings
  • May 20th 1997 by Vintage Canada

    (first published March 1st 1989)

  • Galveston
  • 273 ratings
  • April 26th 2005 by Vintage Canada

    (first published May 11th 2004)

  • The Ravine
  • 165 ratings
  • March 11th 2008 by Random House Canada
  • The Spirit Cabinet
  • 133 ratings
  • March 30th 1999 by Random House of Canada, Limited

    (first published 1999)

  • Home Game
  • 105 ratings
  • May 7th 1996 by Vintage Canada

    (first published January 1st 1983)

  • The Life Of Hope
  • 56 ratings
  • May 7th 1996 by Vintage Canada

    (first published 1986)

Paul Quarrington
  • Paul Quarrington

  • Date of birth: July 22, 1953
  • Died: January 21, 2010
  • Born: in Toronto, Canada.

  • Description: Paul Quarrington was a novelist and musician, an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and an acclaimed non-fiction writer. His last novel The Ravine was published in March 2008. His previous novel Galveston was nominated for the Giller; Whale Music won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Quarrington won the Stephen Leacock Medal for King Leary, a title that also won the 2008 Canada Reads competition. As a musician, he played in the band PorkBelly Futures; their self-titled second CD was released in April 2008; the first CD Way Past Midnight was extremely well received. His screenplays and story editing have won many awards, most recently the CFPTA Indie Award for Comedy for the series Moose TV, and he was in high demand as a story editor for feature films and television. Paul ’s filmmaking talents as writer / director were evident in his BookShorts short film, Pavane, which he adapted from The Ravine and was featured in the Moving Stories Film Festival September - November 2008. His non-fiction writing included books on some of his favourite pastimes such as fishing, hockey and music. He regularly contributed book reviews, travel columns and journalism to Canada’s national newspapers and magazines. Paul lived and worked in Toronto, where he taught writing at Humber College and University of Toronto, and sat on the Board of Directors for the Fringe Theatre Festival. Quarrington was also an (extremely) amateur magician and a would-be mariner.

    Paul was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in May of 2009. He died at home, with his family.