Monday, September 28, 2009

Barney’s Version – The Novel

ur⋅ban leg⋅end –noun
[ur-buhn lej-uhnd]
1. a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often has elements of humour, moralizing, or horror
A few weeks ago I finished reading a humorous, yet somewhat sad tale called Barney’s Version, written by Canadian author Mordeecai Richler.

In a response to a book of memoirs, written by his sworn enemy Terry McIver, protagonist Barney Panofsky decides to give the true version of his life, as McIver’s memoirs paint Panofsky in a very bad light. Panofsky, an old man, recants his time spent in Paris as a young man, how he became a widow, divorced twice, the father of three children, a television producer in Quebec and the suspected murderer of his best friend. Throughout the novel the reoccurring themes are dealing with loss, with guilt, loneliness and the ability a person has to rewrite their memories as to make them more bearable.

The moment I read the last word I scribbled down this note:

Barney’s Version makes me flash forward on my own life, I don’t want to grow old alone

To date I continue my ever-lasting battle with loneliness and each day that goes by I get a little older and a little more certain that this funk is here to stay. In just six short days I will be the ripe old age of 31 and since I started writing this blog nothing has changed for me. I’m still alone. I’m still broke. And I’m still…

Next on the list Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.

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