A Dialogue About a Dialogue :: J. L. Borges

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]

9 thoughts on “A Dialogue About a Dialogue :: J. L. Borges

  1. I grew up reading the works of JLB. This quote, and your post, come as timely reminders to a world I haven’t delved into for a while. Thanks for this.

  2. This is my first encounter with Borges works.
    Like sifting through a sea of perfectly clear mist.
    What a blessing this storage of texts is. Using information technology to share beauty gives me hope for the future.
    Thank you all who are involved.

  3. I don’t know to which Spanish collection this short story belonged.
    By the way, it is “La Cumparsita” (with a “u”) though the right word would be with an “o”.

  4. Pingback: August 21st 6:00 PM Borges Week! – Honolulu Literature Group

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