Monday, February 23, 2009

Quote of the Day: John Mortimer

“Dying is a matter of slapstick and pratfalls. The aging process is not gradual or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn’t ready to appear ridiculous.”
That's barrister and novelist John Mortimer in a book published in 2000 called “The Summer of a Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old Disgracefully,” as quoted by the New York Times. Mortimer is most famous for his character of books and television, Horace Rumpole. For all his talk of dying, Mortimer lived nearly another decade; he died in January at his home in Oxfordshire, England. He was 85.

Mortimer was a crusading sort of barrister, maybe a little like America's William Kunstler. His last Rumpole book, Rumpole and the Reign of Terror, has his protagonist defending a Pakistani doctor who the British government charged with terrorism. Below is a short interview with an 83-year-old Mortimer upon the release of the book.

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