Romulus My Father Essay Belonging

Romulus My Father Essay Belonging-43
Here, he is referring to the classical Greek idea of tragedy: that is, a portrayal of how good people are seen to suffer at the hands of fate or unmovable circumstance.

Here, he is referring to the classical Greek idea of tragedy: that is, a portrayal of how good people are seen to suffer at the hands of fate or unmovable circumstance.

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Manne now encouraged his friend to expand the eulogy into an article, one that subsequently developed into a book-length memoir.

There are many moments when the book displays the character of its first form: it has a eulogy’s loving and familiar tone, its gentleness and at times quiet formality, but also the often frank way that eulogies evaluate a life and its contributions, complications, and humanity.

One of the origin points of the form lies with a Christian tradition of recording a pilgrim’s journey, so that others may benefit from the knowledge that the pilgrim acquired along the way.

Many memoirs aim to make sense of the past in a way that may be useful to others, and to offer their accounts in a way that is true not just to what the author remembers, but also how he or she remembers.

As Helen Garner has described it, Gaita’s narrative voice is ‘wonderfully serious, and terrified of being sentimental’.

Like a tragic poem, the voice seems to accept that the human condition is, as Gaita puts it, ‘defined by our vulnerability to misfortune’. Coetzee puts it in his comments about the book, Romulus ‘comes to serve as a lifelong moral compass to his son and, via his son, to us as readers’.n a critical moment of reflection and pause, Romulus, My Father offers the reader a key to its interpretation.The author – philosopher Raimond Gaita – tells us that ‘Plato said that those who love and seek wisdom are clinging in recollection to things they once saw’.She finds life at the farmhouse terribly alienating: ‘A dead red gum stood only a hundred metres from the house and became for my mother a symbol of her desolation.’ is not principally a migration story, but the family’s move to Australia and the reaction to the landscape are important for both the events that follow and Gaita’s subsequent memories of them.As a student, Gaita went to the University of Leeds, where he undertook his doctorate in philosophy. As he explains in After Romulus (2011), a book of essays about the memoir, during those years in England he became accustomed to the more ‘humanised landscapes’ of Europe, and indeed came close to understand how his mother had once seen Australia.Having the chance to leave a difficult life in Europe did not altogether make up for the remote and at times desolate one they found waiting for them in rural Australia.Like Romulus, many viewed the landscape as hostile; over the next forty years he ‘could not become reconciled to it’.Writing Romulus, My Father, he says, allowed his return to a childhood love of the country.The first draft was completed very quickly, in three weeks in a house close to where he lived as a boy.As in life more generally, memoirists may be prompted to return to the past by an event in the present, and this prompting – a kind of task sheet for the memoir – will naturally influence how they remember and write.The connection between what and how we remember is especially important in the case of Romulus, My Father, a relationship between form and content that we might look at more closely in three aspects of its composition history.


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