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Showing posts from November 22, 2015

on yelling

Yestrday night, Adam said, don’t be rude to me, Daddy. This set me back on my heels. How had I been rude to him? Well, parenting alternates between the pole of cuddling and the pole of yelling. Yelling is one of the great sounds in the bourgeois domestic lair. The enlightenment has, thankfully, softened our moeurs, so that the whipping routinely meted out to children in, say, the eighteenth century astonishes us. The raised hand, the belt, the paddle, these are the malevolent spirits that haunted the great rebels and novelists of the 19 th century. Max Ernst’s picture of the Virgin Mary whaling the tar out of the little baby Jesus is not only a monument to surrealism, but holds a (mostly unacknowledged) place in the history of parenting in the twentieth century. Reading between the lines, Marcel was surely so punished by the father that he can never quite forgive as he traversess the thousand some pages of In search of lost time. But yelling… Who among us doesn’t? In actual fac