Literary genres – My Horrible Father




Gert has long considered writing a book called My Horrible Father.  It is a venerable genre stretching back at least to the Old Testament God.  Then there are many horrible fathers in fairy tales who lock their children up, abandon them or sell them.

Shakespeare did a nice line in the horrible father, King Lear being one who combines many of the prototypical characteristics of vanity, solipsism, emotional vampirism,  and that worst of all failings in a father, what Gert’s mother used to call “making a show” of his children in public. Dickens specialised in the weak and/or treacherous father with a noble daughter who loves him in spite of it. We have had fathers who abuse their children sexually, drunk fathers, shiftless fathers, childish fathers, religious fathers, hypercritical fathers, and Gert’s favourite, charismatic lying fathers.

Your favourite books in this genre? There is a prize of a return bus ticket to Nar Nar Goon for the most interesting suggestion.

Forthcoming in our survey of literary genres:

 Silly old me (Thank God)

 A shoebox on the highway

 I spend a lot of time in the boxroom (short stories)

 Death – it makes you think


23 thoughts on “Literary genres – My Horrible Father

  1. As a kid, I thought that Hansel and Gretel’s father took the prize, although the father of the heroine of Rumpelstiltskin had a strong case too.

    We’re commenting in part because the idea of a return trip to Nar Nar Goon sounds perfectly awesome. Teri Carns

    1. Chicken Lady, it looks as if you have your nose in front at this point. We realise, though, we forgot to put a closing-date for the competition, so we’ll say cockcrow (Australian time) on Sunday April 27.
      You’re rightly excited about the prize. Perhaps you’ve heard that it includes a trip to the potato farm, the Seagull Repair Facility, and the only outdoor Botticelli in the southern hemisphere. Good luck!
      We have been looking at your blog, and what we want to know is, what have you been doing since 2012?

      1. Rome/Sicily, fall of 2013 [, and about 12 other posts about that trip]; Dante’s Interno []; and a fair amount about wheat history, recipes, etc. []. I took back-to-back humor writing courses during the past few months on, in an effort to be as funny as my kids and husband [not entirely unsuccessful]. Plus I write reports half-time, as noted in the bio, for the Alaska Judicial Council about justice-related topics.

        Chicken Lady is actually my sister, who is very funny and co-owner of large numbers of chickens, geese, ducks, Australian Shepherd doges, etc..I was posting her work when I first started the blog; now haven’t figured out how to get a separate blog. It’s a useful alter ego.

        We had not heard about all of the side benefits of the trip to Nar Nar Goon; they certainly make it even more appealing.

  2. But we are confuzzed. We had to go to Road Trip Teri to read these posts and it isn’t signposted on Chicken Lady which only has posts to 2012. Eh? Wot?

    1. I wanted to start roadtripter a while agoi on WordPress and use my gmail account, but they wouldn’t let me because that was assigned to Chicken Lady. And I didn’t want another email account, and keep not really taking action to figure out how WordPress really works. Now you are sort of encouraging me to take this bull by the horns, or chicken by the feet, or some such. I’ll see if there’s something to be done that doesn’t involve hiring a computer programmer. Thanks for the push!

  3. We changed from a previous blog (not WordPress) just by putting up a notice on the old one to say we’d moved and putting a link to this one. So maybe you could just put a a link to Road Trip Teri.

    1. Now that I look at the design sections, it appears that many possibilities exist (too many). But your suggestion seems simple and straightforward, so I’ll see about trying that. I tallied up the homework tonight and realized that there are approximately fifty haiku to write before Tuesday, so will do that first.

      Fifty haiku, or
      more, contrast, compare, beware
      of plopping frogs, ponds

      1. Oh dear as with your sister we are two and I have been away for the weekend and not seen the number of haiku required by next week. Pardon me while I panic. Eeeeeeeek

  4. ‘The Man who Loved Children’ would have to be at the top of the list. Shamefully, I’m reading Stephen King while on holiday and Jack Torrence from ‘The Shining’ is also up there.

    1. Yes, Cath, ole Sam Pollitt is high on Gert’s list too. An immortally monstrous creation. Our old friend Karl Ove has done the job on his own father in his latest volume. Then there is “The Way of All Flesh” for the religious father. So many to choose from!

  5. Oooh, now you’re talking! And Tantalus who killed his son and served his flesh to the gods to see if they could tell it from that of another animal. And good old Atreus who also went in for serving up dishes of murdered children (not necessarily his own, though, give him that.) And let’s not forget Abraham’s being prepared to sacrifice Isaac with very little attempt to put up a counter-argument to the Almighty. After all, you do want your father to ‘be there for you’ in such a situation.

  6. Congratulations on running such a splendid contest! My entry is ‘A Perfect Spy’ by John le Carre, (in the charismatic liar sub-section). The con-man protagonist is, according to le Carre based on his own father.

  7. Hmm, but would it have the required shock value? And just think of the potential spin off shows for the Daddy Chef one. The preliminary elimination series in which the child to be served up is chosen, and then the reverse of Biggest Loser in which the child is fattened up.

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