My father seemed disconnected from his past.  He couldn’t call

up any of those little incidents from childhood that my

mother specialized in.  He spoke only rarely of his own

memories of childhood or youth, and then never at length.

And I don’t think he used his personal memories in

coming to understand himself.  In that sense, in the sense

we mean it in the contemporary post-Freudian world, I don’t

think he did understand himself.  He jokingly said to me

once that he was a prime example of what repression could accomplish.

His energetic, virtually nonstop professional life was all that mattered.


Paraphrases from the memoir The Story of My Father by Sue Miller.