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Andreas Schroeder

Andreas Schroeder

Former residence, 900 Block, W. 7th Ave.

  • Author: Britt S. Baker
  • Date Posted: Apr 15, 2014
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is on lamppost on south side of 900 block of W. 7th Ave., slightly west of mid-block.

Andreas Schroeder

Photo credit: Laura Sawchuck


Location: Plaque is on lamppost on south side of 900 block of W. 7th Ave., slightly west of mid-block.

Long before Andreas Schroeder led Canada to adopt Public Lending Right and helped found both the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers Union of Canada, the prolific UBC Creative Writing professor was an avant-garde, ex-Mennonite motorcyclist and surrealist who lived in a four-storey, ramshackle, communal house, just east of Oak St.

But it is time to identify my position. I have found the exact spot from which I’m no longer able to tell whether a couple is making love or killing each other. The spot where a man gargling in the morning or drowning at night makes the same sounds. It is always important to maintain the proper ambiguities.

From The Meeting

“Since the landlord didn’t mind,” he says, “we painted all the doors black and all the window frames purple. Everyone called it, not terribly imaginatively, The Purple Palace.” Notables who lived there, or were regular found-ins, included J. Michael Yates, Charles “Red” Lillard, John Skapski, Scott Symons, George Payerle, John Newlove, Eric Forrer, Susan Musgrave, George McWhirter, George Amabile, Fred Cawsey, Stanley Cooperman, Hannah Main-van der Camp and Rick Ward. “Typewriters clacked and tickered and dinged away twenty-fours a day,” says Schroeder. The living room was wallpapered with 300 leftover posters for Schroeder’s literary magazine Contemporary Literature in Translation. At least a dozen books were written in that house between 1970 and the early 80’s.

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“Since the landlord didn’t mind,” he says, “we painted all the doors black and all the window frames purple. Everyone called it, not terribly imaginatively, The Purple Palace.” Notables who lived there, or were regular found-ins, included J. Michael Yates, Charles “Red” Lillard, John Skapski, Scott Symons, George Payerle, John Newlove, Eric Forrer, Susan Musgrave, George McWhirter, George Amabile, Fred Cawsey, Stanley Cooperman, Hannah Main-van der Camp and Rick Ward. “Typewriters clacked and tickered and dinged away twenty-fours a day,” says Schroeder. The living room was wallpapered with 300 leftover posters for Schroeder’s literary magazine Contemporary Literature in Translation. At least a dozen books were written in that house between 1970 and the early 80’s.

But it is time to identify my position. I have found the exact spot from which I’m no longer able to tell whether a couple is making love or killing each other. The spot where a man gargling in the morning or drowning at night makes the same sounds. It is always important to maintain the proper ambiguities.

From The Meeting

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Learn more about Andreas Schroeder at ABC Bookworld