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Mordecai Richler

1931 - 2001

Celebrated Canadian novelist, journalist, and columnist, author of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) and other works


I am not anti-Canadian or a Jew-baiter. I do, however, deplore many things Jewish and Canadian. Special pleading, whether by kibbutzniks in Galilee, or proliferating Canada culture boosters, never fails to move me to mockery.

1972 - quoted in "St. Urbain was the compass" by Robert Fulford, published in the National Post, July 4, 2001
Had Babe Ruth ... been born a Canadian rather than an American, he would not be celebrated as the Sultan of Swat, the man who hit 714 home runs. Instead he would be deprecated as that notorious flunk who struck out 1330 times.

Mar. 23, 1999 - from a lecture delivered at the University of Waterloo
I should point out that my quarrel is not only with Francophone separatists, but also with the concept, obnoxious to me, of Canada's two founding races. And the notion that they are some how entitled to more privileges than the rest of us. Our Native peoples aside, we're all immigrants here. Whether they were fleeing penury in Normandy, the Highland clearances, the Irish potato famine, pogroms in Russia, Communist tyranny in Hungary or Poland or the lack of opportunity in China, the Ukraine or India, our ancestors came here in search of a better life, a fresh start. And together we have forged a fundamentally decent society. Yet Thomas Jefferson notwithstanding, 'All men,' and I'd better be careful here, 'or women, are not created equal.' Far from it. We are born unequal in intelligence, talent, beauty and economic privileges. So we should enjoy, in so far as it is possible, equal rights. That is to say whether our ancestors came here three hundred years ago or last week, once we are Canadian citizens there should be no self-serving nonsense about founding races.

Mar. 23, 1999 - from a lecture delivered at the University of Waterloo
There is a current chaos in the world, and we no longer know what is right or wrong.

1955 - from The Acrobats, quoted in The Writers of Montreal by Elaine Kalman Naves
Canadians represent, as it were, the least militant North American minority group. The white, Protestant, heterosexual ghetto of the north.