Circular. I return to this Borges short story over and over again. I recently read it again to share it with my 11-year-old son (I took the opportunity when he has to read another Borges short story for school...). Maybe it was a bit early. Maybe I did it because when I was 12 years old, a literature teacher approached me to this work that changed my notion of literature and language.
I also came back to this story when I met my wife. I need to show it, share it. That's why I don't remember a special edition. Although it is included in Fictions, I always read it in Complete Works editions. A single thick green volume when I was a teenager ... lately, four volumes (that I gave as a gift to my wife). Always heavy books.
A story is a short narration, and this one is particularly short. With Borges -as it happens to me with music in general, and with records in particular- the first and last sentences of him take on an unusual power. My memory collects those takeoffs and landings...in short stories such as El Sur, Funes el memorioso, El Etnógrafo, El Fin and poems such as Fundación mítica de Buenos Aires or the Poema de los Dones.
›No one saw him disembark in the unanimous night, no one saw the bamboo canoe sinking into the sacred mud, but in a few days there was no one who did not know that the taciturn man came from the South and that his home had been one of those numberless villages upstream in the deeply cleft side of the mountain, where the Zend language has not been contaminated by Greek and where leprosy is infrequent.‹
›With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion, that someone else was dreaming him.‹
Diego Vainer, 2021