Keneally on fathers

Coffee 3284‘The son wants his father to declare him a friend, a creature of equal valour. That’s why they go fishing together or to sporting events: to encounter each other in the presence of champions, and to absorb as equals the gallantry of opening batsmen. It doesn’t make a difference if the father is a quivering mess of self-doubt. His purposes and manifestations are as mysterious as those of a Greek or Hindu deity. Whatever the effect on us, they all mean something transcendent. And to be included in any of his impulses of kindness and enthusiasm is a sublime privilege.’

Thomas Keneally, ‘Independence Days’ in My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent, edited by Susan Wyndham, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2013, 27-41.

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