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Sport 7: Winter 1991


In the year before my third visit to Melbourne, I had read in an interview with an American writer, though not the one who had suffered everlasting regret, that revenge had been one of the writer's chief motivations in writing. The American writer had said that getting even had been a guiding principle in the composition of his books. I have often thought about this statement and, though I believed at the time, at the age of twenty-three years, that I was the only young would-be writer who truly loved the books of the American writer, yet I thought that I would only be a writer once I had forgotten the words of the American writer and had truthfully outlined the page 36 story of the pages I had written when I was aged twelve years on the subject of revenge.

I needed to forget these words, since I had to admit to myself that the actual reason for writing those pages was utterly base and totally self-centred; I had wanted to pretend to the Principal that I was anything but as weak as my brother and, for this reason alone, I had wanted to become Headboy of my school.

Between the times of my third and fourth visit to Melbourne, I sent my older brother by airmail a book by the American writer who had spoken of revenge. In this time I also received by airmail from my brother, a book by the writer who is the subject of this story.

The woman who was living with my brother at the times of my second, third and fourth visits to Melbourne, between the years 1984 to 1989, did not read the book I sent my brother. She did not generally read works of fiction and told me she preferred works of non-fiction because of their truthfulness and the fact that nothing in these books had been made up.

On my fourth visit she did not mention the writing I had done but occasionally mentioned its financial success, which was negligible in real terms, in terms of what real work paid, but astounding to the woman who saw the writing I had done as totally worthless and a complete waste of time.