14 June 2014

Which literary father are you?

Posted by John Clegg

Find out with our Father's Day quiz!

1) Some fathers never get out of their armchairs; others can’t be extracted from their sheds. Where are your children most likely to find you?

a) There, on your sad height
b) On the battlements
c) Among the potato drills
d) In the sitting room
e) Stood at the blackboard
f) Returning to Ithaca

2) You wouldn’t be a proper father if you didn’t worry all the time about your children. Which of these worries sounds most familiar?

a) Your words have forked no lightning
b) The serpent that did sting your life now wears your crown
c) Your son has no spade to follow men like you
d) Your son has transformed into a gigantic beetle-like insect (Ungezeifer)
e) There’s a stake in your fat black heart, and the villagers never liked you
f) Deep within yourself, you have thoughts that are disquieting. How shall you make assault on the shameless suitors, who are always together in this hall?

3) And what advice would you always give them?

a) Wise men, in the end, know dark is right
b) Let not the royal bed of Denmark be a couch for luxury and damned incest
c) [Show them how to nestle their coarse boot on the lug of the spade]
d) The chief clerk will be good enough to excuse the untidiness of your room
e) Gobbledeygoo
f) You must twist back the man’s feet and arms and throw him down inside the room. Then bind his back to a board, fasten a twisted rope to him and hoist him up the tall pillar to near the rafters; then he can live a long time in torment.

4) Which of these Dadrock anthems is your favourite?

a) ‘Every Rose Has its Thorn’ (Poison)
b) ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ (Queen)
c) ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ (Thin Lizzy)
d) ‘Mr Brightside’ (The Killers)
e) ‘Starman’ (David Bowie)
f) Oral poetry recited to the accompaniment of the Greek lyre (λύρα)


Mostly a)s: You’re Dylan Thomas’s Father. You can sometimes be a little grumpy, but as long as you bless your children now and again with your fierce tears – and emergency loans from the Bank of Mum and Dad! – they’ll always be grateful to you.

Mostly b)s: You’re the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father. You harrow your family with fear and wonder – and quite right too. Most embarrassing Dad moment: either your dancing, or the time you smote the sledded Polack on the ice.

Mostly c)s: You’re Seamus Heaney’s Father. You are enthusiastic about digging but have few other characteristics.

Mostly d)s: You’re Gregor Samsa’s Father. Some children are afraid of their fathers – with you it’s the other way round. So lighten up and stop lobbing apples at your kids.

Mostly e)s: You’re Otto Plath. There’s never a hair out of place in your neat moustache. Your children can sometimes be a bit intimidated by you – when you’re in one of your moods, they barely dare to breathe or achoo! On Father’s Day, why don’t you treat yourself to one of your favourite movies and a glass (or three) of clear Viennese beer?

Mostly f)s: You’re Odysseus. Goddess of song, teach me the story of a hero, of the man of wide-ranging spirit who had sacked the sacred town of Troy and afterwards wandered long and far. Many were those whose cities he viewed and whose minds he came to know, many the troubles that vexed his heart as he sailed the seas.