Two years before his death, my father gave me a small suitcase filled with his writings, manuscripts1 and notebooks. Assuming his usual joking, mocking2 air, he told me he wanted me to read them after he was gone, by which he meant after he died.
A week after he came to my office and left me his suitcase, my father came to pay me another visit; as always, he brought me a bar of chocolate (he had forgotten I was 48 years old). As always, we chatted and laughed about life, politics and family gossip3. A moment arrived when my father’s eyes went to the corner where he had left his suitcase and saw that I had moved it. We looked each other in the eye. There followed a pressing silence. I did not tell him that I had opened the suitcase and tried to read its contents, instead I looked away. But he understood. Just as I understood that he had understood. Just as he understood that I had understood that he had understood. But all this understanding only went so far as it can go in a few seconds. Because my father was a happy, easygoing4 man who had faith in himself: he smiled at me the way he always did. And as he left the house, he repeated all the lovely and encouraging things that he always said to me, like a father.
As always, I watched him leave, envying5 his happiness, his carefree and unflappable6 temperament. But I remember that on that day there was also a flash of joy inside me that made me ashamed. It was prompted by the thought that maybe I wasn’t as comfortable in life as he was, maybe I had not led as happy or footloose7 a life as he had, but that I had devoted it to writing —you’ve understood... I was ashamed to be thinking such things at my father’s expense. Of all people, my father, who had never been the source of my pain — who had left me free. All this should remind us that writing and literature are intimately linked to a lack at the centre of our lives, and to our feelings of happiness and guilt.
But my story has a symmetry8 that immediately reminded me of something else that day, and that brought me an even deeper sense of guilt. Twenty-three years before my father left me his suitcase, and four years after I had decided, aged 22, to become a novelist, and, abandoning all else, shut myself up in a room, I finished my first novel, Cevdet Bey and Sons;
with trembling hands I had given my father a typescript of the still unpublished novel, so that he could read it and tell me what he thought. This was not simply because I had confidence in his taste and his intellect: his opinion was very important to me, because he, unlike my mother, had not opposed my wish to become a writer. At that point, my father was not with us, but far away. I waited impatiently for his return. When he arrived two weeks later, I ran to open the door. My father said nothing, but he at once threw his arms around me in a way that told me he had liked it very much. For a while, we were plunged9 into the sort of awkward silence that so often accompanies moments of great emotion. Then, when we had calmed down and begun to talk, my father resorted to highly charged and exaggerated language to express his confidence in me or my first novel: he told me that one day I would win the prize that I am here to receive with such great happiness.
He said this not because he was trying to convince me of his good opinion, or to set this prize as a goal; he said it like a Turkish father, giving support to his son, encouraging him by saying, ‘One day you’ll become a pasha10!’ For years, whenever he saw me, he would encourage me with the same words.
My father died in December of 2002.
Today, as I stand before the Swedish Academy and the distinguished11 members who have awarded me this great prize — this great honour — and their distinguished guests, I dearly wish he could be amongst us.
1. manuscript n. 手稿
2. mocking a. 取笑的，嘲弄的
3. gossip n. 闲言碎语
4. easygoing a. 易相处的，随和的
5. envy v. 羡慕，嫉妒
6. unflappable a. 临危不乱的，镇定的
7. footloose a. 自由自在的，无拘无束的
8. symmetry n. 对称，匀称
9. plunge v. 使事物突然陷入
10. pasha a. 帕夏（旧时奥斯曼帝国和北非高级文武官的称号）高级文武官
11. distinguished a. 著名的，高贵的
京ICP备15053428号-2 北京市公安局海淀分局备案编号：1101081950号 防网络诈骗专栏
作文网版权所有 Copyright © 2005-2013 www.zuowen.com . All Rights Reserved