Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

sábado, noviembre 27, 2010

Buscando Borges

The infinite Aleph of Borges' 1949 story, "The Aleph," is "a small irridescent sphere of almost unbearable brightness" that contains all of universal space without changing its actual size. It is in the basement of Carlos Argentino's family house near the corner of Avenida Garay and Calle Tacuari. Is the house (and the Aleph) still there? The story suggests not. Zurno and Zungi, CA's neighbors were expanding their "enormous cafe" and were going to tear down CA's house in the late 1940's. Maybe, I think, I'll just stroll over there and see whether the building is still standing. What's more, CA's lawyer, Licenciado Zurni has an office at Tacuari near Avenida Caseros which "is one of proverbial sobriety." That is two blocks south of CA's important basement. It's not a long walk.

Ample discouragement of this adventure to Plaza Constitucion arises. Everyone tells me not to show up in that barrio unless I really want to be separated from my wallet. Or my head. A NY Times Article(5/14/06; sorry no link now) seems to confirm this. The author passes the corner shielded in a moving taxi and charitably describes the site as "anonymous." He doesn't stop to get out and look around. A predominantly gray photo on Flickr (sorry no link now) clinches the deal. There is nothing to look at. Walk canceled.

Instead I select a walk on the nearby eponymous street in Palermo Viejo. Number 2135 of the street formerly known as Serrano bears a simple plaque that the building was there JLB lived a century ago (1901-1914) as an infant. It is a two-story, brick home with a sharply pointed, arched entryway. Is the front entrance Romanesque? Norma? Does that have anything to do with JLB's later interest in North European lanuages and myths? I am no expert.

Today the building's first floor is occupied by a hair salon humorously dubbed "Maldito Frizz."I imagine that JLB might be surprised by this development. And by the nearby "Cybrborges" internet store. But maybe not.

These speculations are easily resolved by taking the 3 block walk to the zoo and observing JLB's beloved Tigres. When I arrive, the tiger is lying down. After a while she gets up to stroll the cage and observe the observers. Borges would have been delighted. I certainly was.

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