Friday, 28 June 2013

The 'My horrible father' genre

Gert has long considered writing a book called "My Horrible Father".  It is a venerable genre stretching back at least to the Old Testament God.  Then there are many horrible fathers in fairy tales who lock their children up, abandon them or sell them. Shakespeare did a nice line in the horrible father, King Lear being one who combines many of the prototypical characteristics of vanity, solipsism, emotional vampirism,  and that worst of all failings in a father, what Gert's mother used to call "making a show" of his children in public. Dickens specialised in the weak and/or treacherous father with a noble daughter who loves him in spite of it. We have had fathers who abuse their children sexually, drunk fathers, shiftless fathers, childish fathers, religious fathers, hypercritical fathers, and Gert's favourite, charismatic lying fathers.
Gert's book would not, of course, be autobiographical, her own father being perfectly decent and well-meaning. Nor does she want to do what has been done before.  So, perhaps an enormously fat and gluttonous father, a  modern-day monster Oblomov?

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