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269 - My Father and I

Wilbur Smith on a complicated relationship.

Speak Up features an interview with best-selling author Wilbur Smith. In this video out-take we asked him whether “love-hate” was an essential element in a father-son relationship:

Wilbur Smith (South African accent): I think it is, right absolutely, because I… you know, my Poppa was a Victorian father and he had the… some of the old philosophy like “Small boys should be seen and not heard” and “Spare the whip and spoil the child” and I, up to the age of 16, I thought that this man knew nothing about life and, you know, my feelings, and then, when I turned 20, I thought, “Hey, he actually has some pretty good ideas how things should be managed and how to avoid a situation and how to solve a situation and at the age of 40, I thought “This man’s a genius! You know, fantastic, he has life by the throat and I would like to… to be able to do the same thing, to control my destiny as he controlled his destiny.” So, what I’m saying is that my vision of my father changed over 40 years, from disliking him, avoiding his company because he always had some moral lecture to give me, or, if he didn’t have that, he’d give me a task to perform. And then, by the time I was 40 and 50, I used to love his company, I used to come back from wherever I was travelling around the world just to be with him for a couple of days and talk to him and, you know, get his view of the world, which I… which suited me well. (Wilbur Smith was talking to Mark Worden) For more on Wilbur Smith, visit: http://www.wilbursmithbooks.com/