I've been challenged to discuss my "real" biography-- the actual Karl Wenclas outside the known, somewhat simplified version. An incautious request, certainly, when addressing a known talkaholic/ alleged egomaniac such as myself.
Anyway, I was thinking about the matter last night. I did a little self-examination. What I've concluded is that we're all constructs to some extent. (What songwriter said "Part fact, part fiction; a walking contradiction"?) Sometimes we're contradictions because we're our fathers and mothers both-- often those are two very different personalities, as in my case.
I've realized I'm a product of my parents. I am them. I can't be understood without knowing about them. But then we need the background to the background, plus other influences. In my case, Detroit. In my parents case, Catholicism, and more their Polish heritage. Which opens up more contradictions, because like many countries, Poland has been a contradiction, a strange mix of high and low.
There wasn't a Poland for a few centuries, so that "Poland" was a realm of the imagination. And then, which Poland? Austrian Poland? German Poland? Russian or Ukrainian Poland? Then there are the smaller tribes within the Polish identity, such as the Kashubians. It's all a mess. Even the Polish racial identity can be questioned, as one sees a mix of types. The red-haired German-looking Pole (my father), or the dark Asiatic cast Tartar (my mother). Those mixes of course are inside me. Thinking about it, I was programmed more by my mother, who was very much a striver. Oh, very much, and wanted to live her ambitions through her children, and as she told us many times, we failed her.
This is a subject likely of interest only to myself and my siblings, who anyway would disagree with everything I say. I may expand on it anyway in the comments to this post, along with a discussion of other things.