The Writing Life: Journals, 1975-2005

The Writing Life: Journals, 1975-2005

George Fetherling

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0773541144

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Selected from thousands of pages of the daily journals of George Fetherling - the inexhaustible novelist, poet, and cultural commentator - The Writing Life reveals an astute and candid observer of his contemporaries as well as himself. Hundreds of figures in the arts and public life crisscross the pages of Fetherling's journals, from Margaret Atwood and Marshall McLuhan, to Gwendolyn MacEwen and Conrad Black. The book begins in mid-1970s Toronto, a time of cultural ferment, and carries on to Vancouver and a new century. A captivating and intimate narrative, The Writing Life provides a compelling portrait of the last three decades of Canadian cultural life. From the book: Tuesday 4 February 1992 / Toronto Early this morning the latest in a series of strange phone calls from Edmund Carpenter in New York to discuss successive versions of his Canadian Notes & Queries piece on Marshall McLuhan. He falls to reminiscing and at one point says: "Marshall always reminded me of that passage in Boswell in which Boswell says that if you chanced to take shelter from a rain storm for a few minutes in Dr Johnson's company, you would come away convinced that you had just met the smartest man in the world. Marshall was like that too. Of course, if you spent an hour with Marshall, well, that was something quite different."
















had no interest whatever in the stock market as such – no interest and no knowledge. But I’ve always been a keen student of the 1920s in other respects, and resolved to use the opportunity to write an essay-indisguise about urban modernism in Canada (where the financial calamity differed in several fundamental ways from the events in United States). I ended up producing the manuscript of a small book, published the following year as Gold Diggers of 1929, from which Weekend took what it needed to

so many $1,000 dresses all together in one room, and indeed the place  does seem lousy  with  Fieldses  and  such. We  amuse  ourselves  cracking  private  jokes  about  the  old  coots  and  their  cootessas  and  their  young  very white daughters who look like centrefolds from Town and Country.  W remarks that [a friend in Toronto], seeing so many eligible bankers,  would have a vaginal heart attack on the spot.  The banquet must feature 600 or 700 people, including two former

from time to time, which the Citizen in Ottawa had declared incomprehensible. Today,  for  instance,  he  has  an  editorial  whose  subject  is  the  speed of light. Apparently he’s in favour of it. I’ve always been a gravity  man myself, preferring the tangible. Today I ask Neil how I’m doing and  he  makes  a  circle  with  his  thumb  and  forefinger,  referring  to  my  long  piece on why a hereditary Senate would result eventually in a chamber

final demise of the sectarian at the hand of the secular? I doubt it, but  this is the kind of thought one can wholesale to impoverished editorial  writers. The restaurant seems not to have suffered much by the change  of management – its founder having moved to Florida. What Toronto  really lacks, however, is a restaurant whose walls are papered in fading  8 x 10s of third-rate actors and corrupt aldermen, the sort of place at

2013-02-08 10:48:54 176 The Writing Life sunday, 19 september / toronto Lori  Wright  helps  me  hang  my  little  show  at  the  Annex  Art  Centre.   A  small  crowd,  including  two  purchasers  (Sandra  Shaul  and  Carolyn  Wood)  help  Joy,  the  proprietor,  almost  recoup  the  cost  of  the  food.11  Rough times for art patronage these days. thursday, 23 september / ottawa Following my reading at the National Library, I’m back in my room at  the  Lord  Elgin  having  a  nightcap

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