Today on Rewind an hour of Morley Callaghan. Callaghan was a Canadian literary giant, known for his novels, short stories and plays and his many appearances on radio and television. Today we have several excerpts, including a couple from Michael Enright's time at the program This Country in the Morning in the mid 70s.
(Morley Callaghan photo courtesy Macmillan of Canada/Nigel Dickson).
Now you might be asking yourself- Morley Callaghan? The name rings a bell... who he is again? The first piece is a reminder- by way of an essay Michael wrote for The Sunday Edition in February 2009.
After that, some historic pieces. The first features Callaghan as a panellist. The program was called Fighting Words and Callaghan who had trained, but never practiced, as a lawyer was a regular guest.
The premise was that the host, Nathan Cohen, would pose a question and the panellists would first figure out who said it, and then comment on its worthiness.
In December, 1961 tempers flared as Callaghan went head-to-head with critic Tony Emery, journalist Ralph Allen and Saturday Night editor Arnold Edinborough over the notion that "critics are the men who have failed in literature and in art." Saturday Night had just published Emery's negative review of Callaghan's new novel and Callaghan wasn't about to take it lying down.
Callaghan also had fighting fists to back up his words. An enthusiastic boxer, he once floored Ernest Hemingway in a match in 1929. The timekeeper, author F. Scott Fitzgerald, let the round go on too long, tiring Hemingway out. When Fitzgerald admitted his mistake, Hemingway replied, "All right, Scott... if you want to see me getting the (bleep) kicked out of me, just say so. Only don't say you made a mistake."
Our next piece is about Ernest Hemingway- from July 4, 1961 two days after the world learned the writer had committed suicide. Callaghan's memoir, That Summer in Paris were about his adventures with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the artist Miro, among others. Thanks to Hemingway's vote of confidence, one of Callaghan's first short stories ended up in the Paris expatriate periodical This Quarter, along with the work of Joyce, Pound, Stein, Boyle and Hemingway himself.
And then a couple of interviews from the program This Country in the Morning, a talk program that Michael hosted for only one season. But during that time he talked to Morley Callaghan twice and enjoyed it thoroughly each time. The first time was in November 1974.
Morley Callaghan in 1975. Morley had fifteen more good years ahead of him- he lived until he was 87 and died in 1990.