Ser padre hoy (un fragmento de Notable American Women)

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«The task of being right is a task the father perfects over time. He rehearses various forms of error and attempts at every turn to incorporate them into his arsenal of actions, using the Behaviour Bible if he must, seeking always to dilate the range of conduct available to a father and the persons he commands, remembering that morality (that is, what to do when another animal gets too close) is often regulated by figures unwilling to commit the necessary harms, the incidental bloodshed and trespasses that a mastery of daily life requires, never feeling sure that an act is wrong until it feels  life-threatening to the father, wich can only be signaled by the appearance of the father’s blood, or by levels of pain in the father that are unbearable, at wich point a powerful verbal gesture—written, spoken, carved into the wall— s requires to bring the matter to its correction. Even a muffled voice of a father, as if utters from underground, for fuck’s sake, has more force than a clear and booming voice of the boy who is his son. The boy’s voice is anyway sheer ventriloquism on the part of the father, is it not, since I cocreated the awful lad? Yet sometimes that ventriloquism, if too accurate, must be adjusted in pitch and brought to a falser modulation, lest an audience mistake the dummy for an actual person with its own heart and head and hands, a boy rather like the father in matters of hair and skin, certainly, but deeply different at the level of mind, only an apprentice —and here a poor one, a stick figure, convincing only if viewed at a distance—to the range of thought the father himself has cultivated.» (p. 9, Notable American Women, Vintage Contemporaries, 2002)

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