Overview... a retired scientist who’s due to accept an award for lifetime achievement. For the most part, Isak has enjoyed retirement. His life began with a struggle for daily bread and developed into the continuous pursuit of a beloved science. Now he’s suddenly begun to reflect on his past. The last few months have brought the most peculiar dreams. It's as if he’s trying to say something to himself that he doesn’t want to hear when he’s awake. He’s worried he won’t die fulfilled – a life of professional accomplishment but with little love or human connection.
Personality... a lonely and fearful pedant. Isak can be quite trying, both to himself and to the people who have to be around him. He detests emotional outbursts, women’s tears, and the crying of children. His cantankerous nature leads him to withdraw almost completely from society. Still, he is not afraid of honest self-examination, and at 76, he doesn’t like what he sees. He’s realizing that the success he sought was not the kind that mattered to him most. More than anything, he hopes he can be a warm presence to just one person before he leaves this Earth.
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