The image of the father

A photograph showed Thomas his striking resemblance to his absconded actual father, and he realized that his mother, in her hatred of the man who had fed her promises and flatly deserted her and her child, had been constantly provoked to vent her anger upon her first born son who was the unwitting image of the father he had never seen.

Sophie Wilkins, afterforward to On the Mountain by Thomas Bernhard Quartet Books 1993

 

She [my mother] always made me feel that all my life I had stood between her and complete happiness. When she saw me she saw my father, the lover who had deserted her. In me she saw all too plainly the man who had destroyed her. I had the same face, as I know, because I once saw a photograph of my father. The likeness between us was amazing. It was not just that my face was similar to my fathers; it was the same face.

Thomas Bernhard Gathering Evidence : A Memoir

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