Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Richness of Richler

As I was saying this morning, I started to read Mordecai Richler's [1966] novel St. Urbain's Horseman.
70 pages in, I am really enjoying it. He has this way of barging into his subject matter, sort of in media res, as though the reader is supposed to know a few prerequisite things about the novel they are holding in their hands.
I wouldn't say it is disconcerting as much as I would say it is kind of exciting.
Like when you're speaking to lifelong friends, you can cut the preamble.
And it does not take long to get really drawn in to this novel. Several times now, I have laughed out loud at the brazen wit! And the Jewish idiom. Of course, this whole novel is so wonderfully dated, as well. And I like that. Like reading something ancient by Brian Moore or Hugh MacLennan, but with more authority to it.
I'm not a connoisseur of Richler, [have only read Duddy Kravitz] yet there is that sense that I can trust him. Can trust where he's going.
I love the following video-clip, where a 30-something Richler discusses the process of writing this very novel.
It is so awesome to see him fan through the manuscript of St. Urbain's Horseman still on the shelf, as yet unpublished -- almost half a century ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to read his daughter's novel Feed My Dear Dogs. It's really a terrific read with some insight into life with this man as her father. She said that she used her own family as a guideline but the story is fictional. Ifind that it unravels a little too quickly at the end but is really fun and very entertaining throughout.