THE FIRST PERSON
Volume 11 Number 2.
This winner of the Governor-General's Award for 1981 is contemporary in theme and experimental in treatment: the narrator (the "first person" of the title) is a frustrated computer programmer from Montreal who deserts his family in order to play detective (Mickey Spillane or Philip Marlow) in the tacky, plastic, and neon underworld of L. A. His new identity and involvement in intrigue lead him to a murder and a revenge reminiscent of a B movie that is, however, told in a hallucinatory fashion, foreshadowing his final retreat into a mindless existence in a shack in Death Valley. If there is a moral, it is that from years of impersonal data processing in a bunker with nothing but a Burroughs computer terminal to talk to, the narrator's personality has changed, and he is no longer able to cope with the reality outside the TV screen. The translation is adequate, although the use of current slang presents difficulties.
Philip K. Harber, Toronto Board of Education, Toronto, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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