· 1 January 2005 |
· Published in: Boeken Janantoon
· Tagged with: biografie · boeken: Engels · Gaita‚ Raimond
Romulus, My Father
gepubliceerd door: Text Publishing
verworven via: Abebooks
Most biographies are about famous people, active in politics or art or science. We read their biographies because we admire them and want to know more about the human being behind the public figure.
This beautiful biography is about an ordinary man. The Australian philosopher Raimond Gaita writes lovingly about his father.
Romulus Gaita was a man whose formal education ended at primary school, yet he had an innate love of learning, and could carry on conversations in Romanian, German, English and Yugoslav.
As European refugees Romulus and his German wife went to Australia shortly after the war. They settled in a dilapidated farmhouse in rural Victoria. Raimond went to school and Romulus, after a period of indentured labour as payment for the family’s assisted passage, found work as a blacksmith. He made friends with two Romanian brothers, and established himself as a well-respected member of the small community.
But the romance of the migrant success in Australia did not come to pass for Romulus. He was forced to cope with his wife’s deteriorating illness, her chronic unfaithfulness and her neglect of Raimond. Tragic events occurred, but throughout, Romulus remained steady, his honesty and compassion giving Raimond the strength to accept their circumstances.
He had the satisfaction of seeing his only son, for whom he was not able to do much in financial terms, rise to international distinction in scholarship and an honoured place in society.
Romulus, My Father is about the kind of man he was, and his responses to the pressures that came upon him. That gives this book a lasting value beyond that of a mere narrative; it gives it the value of a model for life and conduct in trying circumstances. We see that partly through his behaviour towards his son, and especially in the values and attitudes he impressed on his son, for which Raimond is constantly grateful.
"On many occasions in my life I have had the need to say, and thankfully have been able to say: I know what a good workman is; I know what an honest man is; I know what friendship is; I know because I remember these things in the person of my father."
– my text about The Philosopher’s Dog
– more by Raimond Gaita