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This report is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

Twenty Years in Exile Roger Burford Mason
'The only true exile is the writer who lives in his own country.'

Julio Cortázar's words have been much in mind in Toronto recently, where Barry Callaghan's literary quarterly, Exile, celebrated twenty years a-publishing in September, with a birthday party, the publication of a three-volume overview of Exile's first twenty years, and a reading by Exile alumni which featured Margaret Atwood, Susan Musgrave, John Montague and Austin Clarke.

Callaghan, son of the Canadian writer Morley Callaghan, started Exile in 1972 when he relinquished one of Toronto's best literary jobs as literary editor of the now-defunct Toronto Telegram.

'I was teaching at the university at the same time and Harry Crowe, the dean of the English faculty, who was my boss there, asked me how I intended to fill all of my suddenly-acquired free time. I don't know why, but I said to him, "How would you like to have one of the best literary quarterlies in the world?" and he offered to stake me out in starting one. That's how Exile began, as an accident. That "one of the best" incidentally, is an old trick. It allows me to say, "Well, yes, Paris Review is, with Exile, one of the best . . . etcetera," and no-one can get offended!'

Callaghan was able to draw upon the huge network of writers, authors and critics he had established at the TeIly, as it was affectionately known (and still is, though it is dead since ...


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