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Word Count: 223
The novel Barneys Version by Mordecai Richler is an exquisite illustration of an authors attention to detail in regard to the first person narrative The story of Barney Panofsky Mordecai Richlers mercurial comic creation sets an astringent standard of political incorrectness in present-day Canada The dominant voice of the novel is Barneys taken from the manuscript he left behind following his commitment to a nursing home He tends to forget or confuse dates so occasional footnotes supplied by his son and editor Michael correct his factual errors Barney makes one of these mistakes while discussing a girl he noticed in Paris She lowered her eyes pouted and reached for the book in her straw shoulder bag Bonjour tristesse 2 by Franois Sagan and began to read 2 It had to be some other book as Bonjour tristesse wasnt published until 1954 30 The reader learns in the novels final pages that Richlers protagonist suffers from Alzheimers disease The importance of Richlers decision to have Barney tell his own story is self evident throughout the novel because the reader gains an understanding of everything that goes on in Barneys mind Although he sometimes admittedly shapes his memoirs so that he appears in the best light possible he is like anyone else only trying to remember his past in a way that makes him comfortable with who he is
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