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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

Back in graduate school, I used to enjoy tormenting a friend (who’s grown up to be Professor Alan Filewod of  the University of Guelph) by opening any of the dozens of science fiction and fantasy paperbacks that littered his rooms at Massey College, reading random passages aloud and mocking their style and contents with the […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

The fourteenth book of Augustine of Hippo’s De Civitate Dei, (The City of God) is largely concerned with Augustine’s attempts to prove that such sex as Adam and Eve enjoyed before eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was entirely free of lust and that it was only the primal couple’s disobedience that “snatched them […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

Today being what is known in Gaelic as isru shikres, or the extension of St. Patrick’s day for a further twenty-four hours, we’ll continue our Hibernian theme with a quotation from W.B.Yeats about those denizens of what Jack Spicer called “the English Department of the spirit” who can’t for the life of them understand why […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

I have to confess: I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was thirteen and couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. It was O.K., but no Studs Lonigan. All I really got from it was Holden’s brother’s tip about Ring Lardner and for that, if nothing else, Salinger’s book remains important to me. In his […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

This is one of my favourite lines of dialogue in all English literature. The book from which it’s taken, Father and Son, is the only one of Edmund Gosse’s works still widely read, but not widely enough. It seemed as if it were I who were the jealous monitor, and my Father the deprecating penitent. I […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

A mere half century ago, when Millie Helper, who lived next door to Rob and Laura Petrie, told Laura that her creative writing teacher thought that she looked like  Joyce Cary, Laura could get a knowing laugh by pointing out that Joyce Cary was a man. Cary is no longer as well-known as he used […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

One of the unexpected perks of life in the Yiddish lane was ending up on a show with Herb Gardner, author of A Thousand Clowns and I’m Not Rappaport, and being able to let him know that the routine I did–it was called “I Was A Yeshiva Beatnik”–was entirely his fault. I saw A Thousand Clowns over the Xmas […]

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If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It

It’s a bit of a red-letter day here in Wexelheim, where preparations for the summer 2014 Grand Prix of Insolvency have progressed from feverish to ardent. This morning, while trying to decide whether to use the money owing me for Shlepping the Exile to take care of the balance owing on my 2012 income tax […]

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Something Else I Wish I’d Written

Every day is Oscar Levant day here in the Wex household. Here’s one of the great man’s greatest quips. It’s from Humoresque, which also starred John Garfield and Joan Crawford: “It’s not what you are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.” In keeping with that mordant theme, here are The Spirits of Rhythm doing  “Nobody’s […]

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A Contender and not a Bum

Thanks to everybody who helped Shlepping the Exile rise to number 1509 on Amazon.com’s list yesterday. It’s an amazing achievement for a book that has not been advertised and has thus far received no reviews outside of trade publications. Of course, it’s not a one day thing. If you’ve bought a copy, please tell your friends. […]

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