The Labyrinthine

June 28, 2010

A Dialog About a Dialog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — thelabyrinthine @ 10:36 pm

A: Absorbed in our discussion of immortality, we had let night fall without lighting the lamp, and we couldn’t see each other’s faces. With an offhandedness or gentleness more convincing than passion would have been, Macedonio Fernandez’ voice said once more that the soul is immortal. He assured me that the death of the body is altogether insignificant, and that dying has to be the most unimportant thing that can happen to a man. I was playing with Macedonio’s pocketknife, opening and closing it. A nearby accordion was infinitely dispatching La Comparsita, that dismaying trifle that so many people like because it’s been misrepresented to them as being old. . . . I suggested to Macedonio that we kill ourselves, so we might have our discussion without all the racket.

Z: (mockingly) But I suspect that at the last moment you reconsidered.

A: (now deep in mysticism) Quite frankly, I don’t remember whether we committed suicide that night or not.

[From Collected Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley Collected Fictions]

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