Reader: There are two editions to Novy's Son. The second one is using all
real names and places. This story is based on my own father, but
tells about many sons who do not receive the needed attention
from their fathers. It has been coined as the loss of the Iron John
by Robert Bly in the 1980's.
INTRODUCTION: From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him. As an adult, Murray lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times did he ever find unconditional love? Would Murray's high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?
Today's interview is with Murray Clark (aka Michael
He is the main character from Novy's Son, The
1. Mr. Clark, you had to move three times and
change schools when you were a young lad. How did you feel about those major
The first time I
was scared and angry. I was only five and did not understand why having a
new brother or sister would mean I had to leave my parents and home.
But, I loved Uncle Leon and Aunt Helen and I had a good time there.
2. You had jealousy with your
brother, Richard. Did you ever resolve those feelings?
I don't think
my brother or dad knew about my jealousy though my mother did. And,
I still have jealousy of him. He seemed so perfect, likable and smart. He
could do no wrong. If he had lived a full life, I suppose he and Helen would
have married and told Karen the truth of her birth. I don't think I could
have stood for that.
3. What made your relationship with
Grace so special?
She was the
first and only woman with whom I could be totally myself. She was smart,
beautiful, and a good listener. As I look back she reminded me of my mother
though theydid not look alike. Her life was cut short and I will always
be angry about that.
4. Who are you angry at? You appear
to be angry with so many people and events throughout your life.
I had to give
this question a lot of thought. In the end, I guess I am angry that my life wasso hard. My dad was so strict and no matter what I did it not seem to please
him.And, if there is a God (which I do not think there is) I am very
angry at Him. He caused the early deaths of Uncle Leon, Aunt Helen, and Grace
all of whom I loved. And I am angry that He took Richard at such a young
age from which Dad never recovered.
5. A final question: Do you think
you were a good father to Joan and Karen?
I wish I
could answer that with a yes. I was a better father to Karen, but as I look
backI was wrong to disown Joan. I should have tried to work things out
with her, but I hadso much going against me. Her mother hated me and
was always doing things to put a wedge between my daughters and me.
I regret how I
treated Karen those last years. I see now that she always acted in my best
interest and did everything possible to help me. I blamed her for my finances,
health, and living situation the last years of my life.
all my faults as a father, I did love my daughters and tried to do the best I