The Whipping Boy Essays

The Whipping Boy Essays-39
Kurzweil gets carried away by the rush of resentment and potential revenge, but it seems human, and perhaps what is most admirable is how he manages to confront his childhood demons head-on, never pretending he’s moved past them—because really, so many of us haven’t.Everyone has a childhood bully, everyone has a fantasy of avenging their childhood traumas, and Kurzweil had the courage and resources to act his out.

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More flamboyant insubordination (“being slimy,” “wolf whistling during meditation,” “loutish behavior”) would lead to “laps,” punishment runs to and from a stone bridge up the road.

Yet none of these gaudy particulars can explain the plastic milk crates filled with documents that litter my office—the physical evidence of a fixation tethered to my fleeting co-residency with a burly Filipino boy, two years my senior, named Cesar Augusto Viana.

Harper Collins, January 2015 309 Pages – Harper Collins / Amazon Who hasn’t fantasized about running into your childhood nemesis again, when you have grown into your own, and he hasn’t?

In Allen Kurzweil’s , he goes further than fantasy—he is determined to find his childhood oppressor and see exactly how his life turned out.

Though it’s possible Allen could have moved past these creative traumas, when Cesar played a hazy part in the loss of Allen’s late father’s watch, he became scorched into Allen’s head forever.

“” Those last three words, which are early in the book, underline everything: still, Kurzweil would do anything to retrieve his father’s watch.

Though he falls in love, gets married, has a child, and creates a successful career as a writer, he can’t shake memories of Cesar.

And as he starts to dig into Cesar’s past, using some well-placed connections and the new-at-the-time search Google, he finds out what any tortured kid would love to hear about their childhood bully—Cesar is a convicted criminal.

A Second World War fighter pilot—shrapnel lodged in his shoulder, Bible quotes lodged in his brain—served as the interim headmaster while Aiglon’s founder, a frail vegetarian bachelor drawn to Eastern religions, undertook a rest cure.

A wildly favorable exchange rate made it possible for my mother, recently widowed, to send me to a school far beyond her means.

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