Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Wragg is in custody (part two)

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Continued from Wragg is in custody.

When I go about in my town, I read the architecture, the design and layout of things about me; it is a language, too. If it can be said that we are what we eat, then surely we are what we see day after day, hour after hour. Boosterisms and slogans to the eye, an architectural determination to please by saying nothing but that which pleases (architecture can also play politics), can be wearying, disheartening. When I stand and stare at the back or the south walls of our new opera house, I say to myself: Wragg should be in custody.

When I stand and look at the southeast corner of Dundas and Bay... when I think of what might have gone up there... all the downtown energy of Ryerson University combined with the wealth of Canadian Tire... and what do we have? A building that, if it pleases pleases by being nothing, by being totally forgettable, though upon reflection, quite ugly; a corner of massive ground floor glass walls the colour of sperm inlaid with red logos, and above, the several floors above...? A design right out of the basement rec rooms of Scarborough from the fifties, and the rec room colours of the time, too... sand, tan, bland. Wragg should be in custody. The corner that was a great opportunity became a little death. These little deaths take place all over the city, week after week, and the Roebucks are well pleased.

To be continued.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Barry Callaghan

Barry Callaghan is an award-winning author, poet, editor and publisher. He is one of Canada’s most preeminent men of letters. His most recent collection of short stories, Between Trains, was published by McArthur & Company in 2007.

Go to Barry Callaghan’s Author Page