Friday, December 29, 2006
Father and Son
There have been many novels and short stories based upon the sins of the father being vested in the behaviour of the son. The murderous instinct. The weakness for alcohol. The failings with women. More so than mothers and daughters, I’d venture. Perhaps men have a greater propensity for weakness, full stop.
A dear friend gave me a wonderful, three volume, early 19th century translation of A Thousand and One Nights, for Christmas. I am reading it at exactly the same age my father read it to keep alive his Urdu. For at least a thousand and one nights he had waded through the Sanskrit, and practised orally on a Pakistani family in Lanark to prepare for his last trip to
“Your father is great man,” they’d say, “He speaks Urdu classically. It is such a pleasure for us.”
Meanwhile, I completed a novel, as Christmas approached. You can find the first two chapters elsewhere on this web site: Kamil the Historian and His Tales of the Magus. The structure is similar to A Thousand and One Nights and I had that book’s form firmly in my mind, as I wrote it.