ROGER PAGAN, GYNECOLOGIST
by David Cronenberg
In my Popular History of Canadian Gynecology I deliberately refrained from mentioning the then young, brash, and admittedly spectacular Dr. Roger Pagan except in connection with the unfortunate Avram Room “Drugstore of Love” affair, in which context would have he played a major part which neither moral scrupulosity nor friendship could allow me to deny. Yet this omission of Dr. Pagan from the History was calculated, though generally misunderstood. It had always been my intention to write a kind of rambling chronicle of his life, to which purpose I have been collecting notes, photographs, letters, sworn affidavits, and a few rolls of video-tape for several years. In addition, I have made many cassette tapes recordings of our many conversations together as well as conversations with many of his more important patients, all this in an attempt to create as much more a documentary in the modern sense, than as a biography in the Boswellian sense. In this way, I have provided for the interested reader a certain guarantee of dealy [sic] accuracy rather than the mere creative conjuring of memory, as well as for a certain guarantee of legal protection for myself, gynecological matters being the touchy things they are.
You may then perhaps be able to imagine my chagrin upon hearing the news of Roger Pagan’s bizarre and, no doubt, extremely painful death: my multi-volume rambling chronicle was to be edited down by Fate’s scythe (which I have always pictured to be some sort of gynecological tool, I must confess) to a relatively crisp – even brusque – little book, preciselt [sic] the size of the one