rumours - jan janzen's new book in tofino

Rumours: Jan Janzen's new book

by Annie Widerman, Tofino

the letter 'R'

Rumours and Other Truths about the Indescribable, by Jan F.L. Janzen. A Look into the Complex Mind of
Jan The Renaissance Man

I was initially drawn to this book for its claim of defining, the meaning of life, yet my interest was peaked by the dynamic philosophies offered by Jan. In his first published book, Rumours, it is apparent that Janzen is a densely layered and humble man, one of many words. This book is a collected compilation of poetic works and witty analogies, which are divided under nine concise chapter headings; within which Janzen audaciously attempts to define 'the Meaning of Life in Ten Words or Less'.

Throughout Rumours, Janzen invites the reader to establish individual interpretations of his written revelations. He encourages everyone to remove themselves from over analysis and to look away from narcissistic tendencies, as it is imperative to embrace the humour in the everyday. In 'Taken for Granted', Janzen has an epiphany: "That anything exists at all is such a mystery, such a miracle; I sometimes marvel that anyone can keep a straight face!" This idea struck a chord with me, as did the optimistic view, dominant in his book.

In Rumours, he successfully speculates upon the concept, of 'carpe diem', as this theme is featured within 'Blind Mans Bluff'. In 'Yin Yang', he effectively notes the harmonious contrast of opposing components. This is a common aspect in Janzen's technique, where he creates a dichotomy, while playing devil's advocate. He often uses metaphorical devices to manipulate the meaning of his poems, extending the limit of the literal tone. Thus, emphasizing the multi-dimensionality of each piece.
Furthermore, Janzen's approach is as refreshing as a young being, experiencing everything with bright eyes, taking everything in just as it is, existing. At times, the author seems to have composed a scattered collection of works, which occasionally contradict themselves, when in fact, they are cohesive within their intent. Janzen states his perspective in 'Humming a few bars', he notes: "I may appear inconsistent, hypocritical, trying too hard or not trying enough, but I can tell you: I can keep an even keel in turbulent seas; landslides and even earth quakes are the ground I walk upon, my sky is aflame, stars and plants collide." He is evidently self-assured in supporting his theories.

Jan is a quintessential Renaissance man. He pulls from a broad spectrum of inspiration, including: history, science, anthropology, literature, philosophy and the environment, all within a revolutionary future. Janzen possesses a virtue, many spend their whole lives waiting for. In the chapter entitled Enjoy, Jan reveals the true meaning in, 'So why say anything at all?'--"There is something I will tell you: of a treasure great enough to sustain all life, to fill all hearts with joy." There is no doubt in my mind that Jan Janzen lives every day, living out his mantra. I have confidence that anyone can find something meaningful inside his ramblings for rationality and purpose. After all, Janzen the Renaissance man wrote this one, dedicated to all of you.
Rumours and other Truths about the Indescribable is available in Tofino at Wildside Booksellers, Mermaid Tales, Groovy Movie and online at

Annie Widerman lives in Tofino. She spends her winters hibernating, and catching up on her performance art.

Tofino Books

Tofino Time Magazine December 2008

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Tofino book review of Jan Janzen's 'Rumours and other truths about the inidscribable' written by Annie Widerman in Tofino.

tofino time december 2008

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