- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First US edition. edition (1988)
- ASIN: B001UADUWE
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
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Lost Father Hardcover – 1988
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It is really about the quest for identity in individuals and in families, the difficulties of this challenge which confronts all of us, and the ways in which these difficulties are enhanced by the absence of a male authority figure who is, say, taken by death, before we can define ourselves in opposition to or in reaction against him.
For a young woman without a father, the task is to enter adulthood unescorted, without a test of her feminine power to charm; for a young man in that situation, it is to define himself without an Oedipal struggle or test of courage and manhood that involves the defeat -- if not literally the "killing," as Freud alleged by way of the Greek tragedy -- of the older "self."
Myth and the dreaming faculty are shown in this work to be essential to human beings, who most genuinely and meaningfully "live" only in the stories they construct all the time. We are dreaming creatures, symbol-making animals, and our most powerful symbols eventually define us.
Like Hamlet, whose words to his father's ghost are quoted in the title of this review, we aim to please most those fathers who are absent forever -- and whom we are, therefore, least likely to succeed in pleasing.
Read this book.