'My life is my writing ... my children come later'

October 23, 2010

Sonia Verma, Globe and Mail. Published October 22, 2010.

“I'd have to say, not to be a hypocrite, that my life is my writing before it's anything. Because that's who I am and my children come later and that's what they've had to put up with,” he says. Read interview here.


there's a comment on the globe page suggesting the choice of soundbyte for headline is rather unfortunate. that kind of analysis seems schoolmarmish, more influenced by the conceptual degradations of advertising and its sibilant whispering of family values than by a move towards constructive human development and better trends for children in adult care.

one of the carry-forwards of the more mawkish features of religious sentiment is this fetish for martyrdom, sacrifice, and slavish devotion. yet empirical report through the last two centuries makes clear, children, like any dependents, are best 'served' when the parent stays true to their own life purpose first, the thing which feeds their sense of moral, personal progress as opposed to denying self-fulfillment in the wearing of a limiting roleplay mask that reduces one to the cliche of 'mother' or 'father' where there was once a full human being.

ironic or not, only when the flame of authenticity as against capitulation to a lesser truth is guarded, or to say this another way, only when a person follows their bliss as a precursor to being of service to those one loves, only then can a parent propose to have anything of substance to offer their children. millions if not billions of offspring are fed a diet of thin-shelled parental roleplay and resentment of its sacrifices where love should be, and worse, they know it.

when people go for the dole of primitive instructional dogmatism, that's when you have parents who think it a virtue to neglect their inner lives and its unadorned truth and so obsess about the proprietaries of their children's. its the cornerstone from which the appalling record of our mistreatment of children has its inception point and continuity.

its not enough to love our children. we love them well by loving and emancipating ourselves first.

thanks to the globe and CH for the interview. its a nice piece that doesn't shirk the grim but doesn't indulge it either.

FGFM said...

Hitchens is a bad father, QED.

Anonymous said...

Sweet and ineffably sad...


Christopher reads from Hitch-22: A Memoir