An aloof father and defunct fatherhood story
(Excerpt of Filiad)
I have always been an aloof father to Blanche. When she was about four she tried to monopolize my masculine interest by displaying samples of an admirable feminine curiosity about the world. She would open her puckered fist and show me a dead leaf, a live mouth, a piece of Parisian dirt—"Tiens! Tiens!"—until I yelled for help and Olya came to lead the pouting child away with her treasure.
...The melancholy fact is (after entire whirlwind) that I don't like children. I never did! The child I was had loved his socialite mother with the anticipated exigent and doomed love. But the man I was to become had simultaneously indulged the fancies of my English and piano teacher since the glorious age of ten. My Inge was a passionate, unselfish girl who had no one in the shriveled German world and the transporting power of a philharmonic in a single pair of hands. I obeyed all their teachings gladly. Inge's hands! They were fated to exert their remote influence upon my defunct fatherhood story, just as her shaky grasp of the sublime lingo has left its mark on this transfiguration of it.
The corollary of all this was that I worshipped experience, disdained young girls of my age, and could not stand children. They reminded me of my own fiasco. "Vulnerable" youth indeed! I gave no credence to the idea unless when applied to a few borderline cases I could count on the fingers of my right hand—Keats, Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath might have had vulnerable childhoods!
However, the young and the very young continued to get on my nerves. So on that May night in 1993 which fate was rolling nearer, the night of the blue blast, I felt nothing of the universal shiver you fathers know so well, nor did the sweetest of her breath upon my stubble lure the blood away from my ticking brain, as I carried my sleeping offspring from car's back seat to child's bedroom, the Princess of the ball.
Review: Peshikan writes with incomparable penetration on the most delicate and difficult of subject matters. This marvelous, thought-provoking, daring novel depicts the besiegement not of the Homeric walls of Troy, but of the tender walls of a willfully capricious daughter. It encompasses, in a brilliant modern take on Nabokov's original, the agonizing battle that defines Besovsky's relationship with Blanche. Literary Fiction Book Review