To say goodbye to each other is to deny separation. It is like saying “today we play at separating, but we will see each other tomorrow.” Man invented farewells because he somehow knows he is immortal, even though he may seem gratuitous and ephemeral.
Delia, we will take up again–beside what river?–this uncertain dialogue, and we will ask each other if ever, in a city lost on a plain, we were Borges and Delia.
It’s the other one, it’s Borges, that things happen to……It would be too much to say that our relations are hostile; I live, I allow myself to live, so that Borges may contrive his literature and that literature justifies my existence. I do not mind confessing that he has managed to write some worthwhile pages, but those pages cannot save me, perhaps because the good part no longer belongs to anyone, not even to the other one, but rather to the Spanish language or to tradition. Otherwise, I am destined to be lost, definitively, and only a few instants of me will be able to survive in the other one. Little by little I am yielding him everything, although I am well aware of his perverse habit of falsifying and exaggerating
Destiny takes pleasure in repetition, variants, symmetries: nineteen centuries later, in the south of the Province of Buenos Aires, a gaucho is attacked by other gauchos. As he falls he recognizes an adopted son of his and says to him with gentle reproof and slow surprise (these words must be heard, not read), “Pero che!” He is being killed, and he does not know he is dying so that a scene may be repeated.
I am not sure how tigers fit into this quest for perpetuity, but the poem the other tiger offers some clue. To Borges tiger is something otherworldly, something imagined through his reading of the encyclopaedia, and through this tiger of the text, he dreams of the living tiger. In doing this, he wonders whether text can recreate life. With the imperfect tigers of his dreams, he is not convinced – and the same conflict hinted at in Borges & I seems to reappear here.
Interpretations aside, this book did make me think about afterlife, and the angst of not knowing the vastness that lies beyond. I will be coming back to this, and it is just as well that I have found all the pieces preserved at the floating library.