Spoiled Children of Divorce


4th or 5th Installment – Male Intellectuals
March 18, 2008, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, I’ve plowed through some more names on the 100 Top Intellectuals of the World from the Guardian (2005). Have made it up to the S’s.  These international names probably all start with X, Y, & Z but I’m hoping that this is close to the end of the list.

Lots of dismal childhoods, some unbelievably quaint and simple childhoods and sometimes absolutely no mention of the childhood. Have to admit that sometimes what these guys are thinking about is so far removed from childhood that I can see how it might have slipped out of their biographies. The guys who are concerned with poverty and children’s issues on this list but don’t seem to have grown up in divorce. Of course, many are Divorced themselves, that comes with Success. Often they comment about divorce as a social phenomenon. One guy said something like “Not that’s there’s anything wrong with divorce, but…” Chicken. (Maybe I’m just making that up, I didn’t notate which guy said it.)

Here’s what I found from the list “Lessie” through “Soroush.” I didn’t pull out any truly “clean” divorce stories.

Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru, Novelist & Politician.

Parents divorced before he was born because his Father fell in love with a German. Llosa moved with his Mother to his Grandparents’ farm in Bolivia when he was a year old. They moved back to Peru when his Grandfather was given a Government job. He met his Father in 1946 and his parents got back together. Then they sent him to Military School when he was 14.

Interesting comment about Llosa’s trademark technique: “Use of alternating dialogue to portray realities that are separated by space & time, and the use of verb tense to move his narrative back & forth in time.” So, two voices going at once, two directions as well. What can I say? Child of D. But here, of course, his parents got back together, something that’s on many Child of D’s wish lists. My Father’s parents got back together and made each other’s lives Hell for 30 more years so even these stories don’t always have a happy ending.

Llosa has two half brothers from his Father’s 2d wife. He’s married and divorce and remarried with 3 children. He gave Gabriel Garcia Marquez a black eye, some people say over something having to do with his (Llosa’s) wife.

Kishore Mahbubani – Singapore, Diplomat & Author

I have no idea if he’s from a divorced family but his father was a drinker and a gambler who went to Jail so Mahbubani’s Mother lived for much of his childhood as a single mother to 4 children.

Orhan Pamuk – Turkey, Novelist

I’m also not sure if there was Divorce as the word isn’t used. Pamuk’s family seems to have dissolved as his Country did during his childhood and his parents didn’t get along. He’s written a memoir Istanbul about a deep sense of spiritual loss that is somehow “life affirming as it is negating.” Hmmm, sounds complicated, very far off from the Divorce Courts of Modern Childhood. I read that Pamuk lived with his Mother from age 22-30 as he was starting out with his writing. There’s no mention of his Father. But, come to think of it, there was something about his Father and a Suitcase…


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