Paul Quarrington Quotes
“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.”
“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.”
“So Tony played baseball. That is, indeed, just about all that Tony did do. I don't know why it appealed so much to Tony. I suppose it was because in baseball you a part of something, the team, but at the same time you are alone. No one can get close to you, everyone is at his specific position on the field. Mostly, Tony liked to hit. That's what baseball is about, finally - one person with one stick of wood finding that one spot on the baseball that makes everything connect. Everything. Not just the bat and ball. It makes everything connect.' Tanya tilted her head and raised her eyebrows. 'Do you know what I mean?'
Crybaby nodded violently - he'd had a few nips at the bottle himself. 'A guy I played with called it 'the sweet spot.' Oh boy, do I know what you mean! Sometimes you could smack that ball and everything would make sense. As long as that ball was up in the air, everything would make sense. I used to have a dream, when I was younger, that one day I'd pop one, and it'd go up in the air and over the infield and over the outfield and out of the park and just keep going. Around and around the world, just like the moon. And everything would make sense.”
“I liked sports real well myself. And when I was about thirteen, I thought I knew why. I looked at it this way. God put you in a body, and He made that body subject to a lot of natural laws, you know? Like gravity and stuff. You see, Doc, I was brought up very religious, and I believed in God. And I believed in a soul. And I got to thinking that maybe the soul was like a prisoner in the body. Maybe the soul was too big for the body and was always trying to get out. And sports was - well, according to natural laws, you should only be able to run so fast, right? I mean, you get your legs working, you get your muscles churning as fast as they can go, you take into account the wind against you, stuff like that, all natural and scientific, and then you know just how fast you can go. You see? But me, I figured that there was something inside you, inside your soul, that could make you go just a little bit faster. Just a little bit faster, and it didn't have anything to do with muscles or nature or anything. It was your soul doing it. And when your soul made you go just that little bit faster, well then, for that moment, you were free. Does that make any sense?”
“Like all of my important memories, it has a potency that has influenced the pocket of time that holds it, so I can remember that particular Saturday afternoon, even though in many ways it was no different from any other. I can remember, for example, what van der Glick was wearing as she stepped out of the elevator, which was a dress covered with clownish polka dots. Rainie would make these heartbreaking stabs at femininity; indeed, she still does. It's not that she doesn't possess a woman's body now, and didn't posses a girl's body then. But clothes never seemed to fit her correctly, and the more girlish they were, the worse they would hang.”
“There were two separate and notable things that happened that evening, but they happened at the same time, and I do not feel it would write down properly that way, going back and forth, so what I will do is, spell out one, then the other. I always assumed that, in the few books I have read, the author had made some sort of attempt to squeeze real life between the covers. Now I see that this is not so: life is made easier to handle - blinkered, tethered and hobbled - before it is whipped into words and bound between leather.”
- 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.