Uit: Before the End (Vertaald door Marina Harss))
„My father was the absolute authority in my family; power diminished hierarchically from the eldest brother to the youngest. I still remember looking with fear upon his face, marked simultaneously by candor and hardness. His incontestable decisions were the basis of an ironclad system of commands and punishments that regulated all of us, including my mother. Reserved and stoic, she surely suffered from the effects of that energetic and severe character, but I never heard her complain, and she managed to raise eleven sons under these trying circumstances.
The education we received left deep, unhappy marks on my spirit. But this often harsh upbringing taught us to fulfill our duties, to be consistent, and to finish every task we had begun. And if we have accomplished something in life, it has been as a result of these attributes that we were so brutally forced to acquire.
My father’s severity, which could be terrible, formed my character, which tends toward sadness and melancholy. And it was the main cause of the rebellion of two of my brothers, who ran away from home: Humberto and Pepe, who was known in our town as “that crazy Sábato,” and who ended up running off with the circus, to the great shame of my bourgeois family. This decision greatly upset my mother, but she bore it with the stoicism she displayed throughout her long life; after a protracted illness, she died serenely in her bed in Matilde’s arms at the age of ninety.
My brother Pepe was passionate about the theatre, and he used to act in the town shows, which were known as “Thirty Friends United.” When on occasion they put on criollo4 farces at the Perla movie theater, he always played a part, no matter how small. In his room he had the complete collection of Bambalinas, edited in Buenos Aires, with colorful covers; in addition to these farces, the series included works by Ibsen, and on one memorable occasion, by Tolstoy. I had read the entire collection before turning twelve, and it marked my life deeply; I have always been passionate about the theater, and though I have written several plays, they have never seen the light of day.”
Ernesto Sabato (24 juni 1911 – 30 april 2011)