Fathers and Sons

They are sundered by a bodily shame so steadfast that the criminal annals of the world, stained with all other incests and beastialities hardly record its breach. Sons with mothers, sires with daughtered, lesbic sisters, loves that dare not speak their name, nephews with grandmothers, jailbirds with keyholes, queens with prize bulls: born, he brings pain, divides affection, increases care. He is a male: his growth is his father’s decline, his youth his father’s envy, his friend his father’s enemy. (Joyce)

“What happens to men sometimes,” his father wants to tell Charlie, “is that one day all at once they’ll understand how much they love their children, as absolutely as a child gives away its own love, and the terrible terms that come with that,–and it proves too much to bear, and they’ll not want it, any of it, and back away in fear. And that’s how these miserable situations arise,–in particular between fathers and sons. The Father too afraid, the Child too innocent. Yet if he could but survive the first onrush of fear, and be bless’d enough with Time to think, he might find a way through…” Hoping Charlie might have look’d at him and ask’d, “Are you and I finding a way through?” (Pynchon)

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