O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space.
Hamlet, II, 2
Suddenly, Borges moved a little closer, as if making a confession and whispered: "There is a city that holds a secret that I never shared with anyone." "Really?" I said with a tone of surprise. Borges nodded solemnly. "What city is it?" I could hardly articulate. Borges pondered a moment and finally said, "I count on the condition that my testimony is revealed only after my death. Would like to establish a historical distance with what I say. "
Possibly this story is only a subtle play of metaphors that make up a virtual mirror maze. Or maybe it's a chess game between reality and fiction. In any case, it is appropriate to begin this story at the beginning.
It was a peaceful afternoon of April 1980. Jorge Luis Borges had given a lecture at the University of Barcelona. I went with my wife at the Hotel Princesa Sofia, where the writer was staying, with the intention of see him. We found it by chance in the lobby. Borges was wearing a stylish gray pinstripe suit and leaning on a cane with a carved ivory handle. Seeing him I had the strange sensation of living a magical moment. Borges was accompanied by his trusty secretary Maria Kodama. The girl, baby-faced, exhibited medium hair brown and wore a cream gown and a blue cardigan.
We introduced ourselves and with restrained emotion words of praise dedicated to the literary work of Borges. The writer looked at us without seeing us, but I guessed that perfectly captures everything that went on around him. He invited us to sit at a table in the corner of the hotel bar, while Maria Kodama lent itself to meet a girl with blonde hair that required his presence.
Borges began talking about his previous visits to Barcelona. Then I asked about his old experiences at Hotel Delicias of Adrogué. He told us he kept pretty pictures of this place so welcoming of their homeland. He recalled with pleasure his endless sunsets. I noticed that his eyes grew moist with memories. Later we spoke with passion of one of his favorite authors: Coleridge, Schopenhauer, Stevenson, Keats, Whitman, Kafka and De Quincey, among others. Through large windows we watched as the afternoon waned. A waiter served us sweet tea and some cakes of varying flavors. Borges then talked of his childhood and his father's library in district of Old Palermo of Buenos Aires . Borges had that sixth sense which characterized him. His work was indeed visionary. Does not the huge global internet web does not symbolize the legendary Borges´library?
I've always been fascinated by the story of Pierre Menard. This character was suggested the daunting task of rewriting Cervantes's Don Quijote. Menard did not want to copy the original. Menard just wanted to be Cervantes in the sixteenth century and begin the arduous task of re-creating the legendary book. That evening I had the amazing opportunity to ask the author how he got the plot. Borges politely excused himself, saying he remembered how he first got the idea. But something seemed to be puzzled by my question. I thought that possibly memory failed him. I did not give importance to the incident and continued talking quietly.
Borges also spoke the language. He considered duplicate real-world sound. He said: "It is an artifact of such incredible possibilities that are apt to judge that are endless." We talked also about some of his favorite cities: Buenos Aires and Geneva, where he met French, expressionism and the doctrine of Buddha. Borges was when he spoke of his secret. According to his wishes promised him do his will with respect to the disclosure of which would tell us. Borges seemed relieved and breathed deeply. Honeyed voice said: "The city to which I referred is Barcelona." There was a heavy silence. "Barcelona?" I repeated, not giving credit to his words.
O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a King of infinite space.
Hamlet, II, 2