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My Father and Myself by J. R. Ackerley

My Father and Myself (1968)

by J. R. Ackerley

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The book is an account and analysis of the distant but cordial relationship between the author and his father. As such it is forthright, honest, and painful for the opportunities for closeness missed. Through a series of revelations, it's clear that the father has led a secret life which adds to the father/son distance. The author attempts to present the reader with these revelations in the same shocking way they were presented to him but his description of his father's early life gives away many of the surprises to the reader. Reading the Introduction first would blow the whole surprise. Wait. ( )
  snash | May 21, 2013 |
Perhaps the best of the three Ackerley books I've read, certainly the most forthright. The book is almost built around revelation, but Ackerley seems to know that his revelations are insufficient to carry the narrative, and so he resorts to a welcome introspective candor that stops well this side of being overwhelming. It's dedicated to Tulip. ( )
  OmieWise | Dec 18, 2005 |
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I was born in 1896 and my parents were married in 1919.
La cronologia apparentemente sconclusionata di questi ricordi ha forse bisogno di una spiegazione, e questa sta, temo, nell'Arte. Essi contengono una serie di sorprese, potrei dire di shock, che nella realtà mi si accavallarono addosso tutti insieme verso la fine della storia. Da un punto di vista artistico gli shock non dovrebbero mai accavallarsi; perché ciascuno di essi ottenga il massimo effetto occorre distanziarli. Per riuscirci non potevo raccontare questa mia storia tutta di seguito; ho quindi trascurato la successione cronologica e adottato il metodo di scavare qua e là la vita mia e di mio padre rivoltando la terra e portando alla luce, a ogni colpo di zappa, sempre qualcosa di nuovo. Guardandola ora con tutto il distacco di cui sono capace, credo di non ver confuso troppo la narrazione.
Sono nato nel 1896 e i miei genitori si sposarono nel 1919. Quasi un quarto di secolo per decidersi può sembrare un bell'indugio, ma io sono convinto che questi riti più vengono posticipati, meno indispensabili appaiono, e che col passare degli anni i miei genitori dimenticarono l'anomalia della loro situazione.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0940322129, Paperback)

When his father died, J. R. Ackerley was shocked to discover that he had led a secret life. And after Ackerley himself died, he left a surprise of his own—this coolly considered, unsparingly honest account of his quest to find out the whole truth about the man who had always eluded him in life. But Ackerley's pursuit of his father is also an exploration of the self, making My Father and Myself a pioneering record, at once sexually explicit and emotionally charged, of life as a gay man. This witty, sorrowful, and beautiful book is a classic of twentieth-century memoir.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ackerley's father was a successful importer and a bluff, hearty fellow-- qualities that, in his lifetime, were little appreciated by his gay and literary son. On his death, however, he left a letter revealing that his life of respectable prosperity was a facade. Thus began what for Ackerley was an ongoing quest to comprehend a father who remained always just beyond his reach.… (more)

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 0940322129, 1590175263

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