Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paul Quarrington

Sad news.

I only met Paul a few times, though I did do an onstage thing with him as part of the IFOA in 2008. He seemed like a guy supremely uninterested in maintaining any aura of writerliness about him, which I liked a lot. (The disinterest, not the aura.)

The next time I met him was last fall. We were in an elevator together, on our way up to a self-consciously swanky party being thrown by a publisher (his, to be precise). I introduced myself; he remembered me and asked how I was doing. I said something like, "Fine," and was about to do the obvious thing of asking him the same question, when suddenly, for some stupid reason, I decided this was the exact question I could not ask him. I knew how he was doing, after all: he was dying!

I think I ended up making some comment about how slow the elevator was going...

I feel less bad about being so stupid than about not seeking the guy out later and confessing the whole thing. My guess is he would have got a good laugh out of it.

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