by a stroke of fate, the attack of my adversary. I argued that this slightest of victories foreshadowed
a total victory. I argued (no less fallaciously) that my cowardly felicity proved that I was a man
capable of carrying out the adventure successfully.
breath at the top. The rock-ficelds to the south stood out sharply against the blue sky but on the plain
to the east a steamy heat was already rising. And in that slight haze Daru with heavy heart made out
the Arab walking slowly on the road to prison.
JORGE LUIS BORGES: THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS (1941)
For Victoria Ocampo
Trans. Donald A. Yates
On page 22 of Liddell Hart's History of World War I you will read that an attack against the SerreMontauban line by thirteen British divisions (supported by 1
separated at the cabin door. She was to follow the trail that lead north. On the path leading in the
opposite direction, he turned for a moment to watch her running, her hair loosened and flying. He
ran in turn, crouching among the trees and hedges until,
GABRIEL GARCA MRQUEZ: A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS (197?)
On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his
drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperatur
be duplicated, that he was reproducing himself all through the house, and the exasperated and
unhinged Elisenda shouted that it was awful living in that hell full of angels. He could scarcely eat
and his antiquarian eyes had also become so foggy that he w
Always I have been oppressed by those merciless idols, those beloveds
Oh God, dont let a Muslim be a slave to those infidels
I see the moon-faced one, thinking of killing me with her love
Im unafraid, Oh God, just dont let her change her mind
When they wa
If my heart were a wild bird, it would nest in your twisted curl
Wherever I am, oh jinn, my love is by your side
Im happy with my suffering, take your hand from the medicine that will cure me
Oh doctor, do not heal me, the poison that d
MIHRI KHATUN (1445-1512)
At times, my longing for the beloved slays me
At times, union with him and the passing of time slay me too
My enemy laughs at my condition, but I cry on and on
How can my spirit endure this sorrow which kills us all?
Oh you who do
When the east wind leaves that curl, it carries the scent of musk
And when it opens the knot of your gown, it carries the scent of rose
On that rose-petal lip, I would find the taste of sugar
On that rose-bud mouth, I would discover the scent of wine
Take yourself to the rose-garden, its the season of our wandering
Oh swaying cypress, give back the ruined spring its reign
Pour down your dark curls, let your cheek be dressed in sable
Oh swaying cypress, give back the ruined spring its
"He ran away. I ran after him."
He raised his eyes to Daru again and they were full of a sort of woeful interrogation. "Now what
will they do to me?"
"Are you afraid?"
He stiffened, turning his eyes away.
"Are you sorry?"
The Arab stared at him openmouthe
schoolmastcr saw his thin, muscular chest.
"Thanks, kid," Balducci said. "And now, I'm off."
He got up and went toward the Arab, taking a small rope from his pocket.
"What are you doing?" Daru asked dryly.
Balducci, disconcerted, showed him the rope.
third chapter the hero dies, in the fourth he is alive. As for the other undertaking of Ts'ui Pn, his
labyrinth . . ."
"Here is Ts'ui Pn's labyrinth," he said, indicating a tall lacquered desk.
"An ivory labyrinth!" I exclaimed. "A minimum labyrinth."
remembered too that night which is at the middle of the Thousand and One Nights when
Scheherazade (through a magical oversight of the copyist) begins to relate word for word the story
of the Thousand and One Nights, establishing the risk of coming once ag
the rocks and shadows makes the men undervalue their lives and they gain an easy victory. In the
second, the same army traverses a palace where a great festival is taking place; the resplendent
battle seems to them a continuation of the celebration and th
persons were Albert and I, secret, busy and multiform in other dimensions of time. I raised my eyes
and the tenuous nightmare dissolved. In the yellow and black garden there was only one man; but
this man was as strong as a statue . . . this man was appro
giving his power of attorney and discussing a matter of joint ownership with the manager of his
estate, he returned to the book in the tranquillity of his study which looked out upon the park with
its oaks. Sprawled on his favorite armchair, its back towa
fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down."
On the following day everyone knew that a flesh-and-blood angel was held captive in
Pelayo's house. Against the judgment of the wise neighbor woman, for whom angels in those times
were the fugitive survivo
his antiquarian eyes and murmured something in his dialect when Father Gonzaga went into the
chicken coop and said good morning to him in Latin. The parish priest had his first suspicion of an
imposter when he saw that he did not understand the language o
many others with less serious ailments. In the midst of that shipwreck disorder that made the earth
tremble, Pelayo and Elisenda were happy with fatigue, for in less than a week they had crammed
their rooms with money and the line of pilgrims waiting thei
showed no sense of urgency. They spent their time finding out in the prisoner had a navel, if his
dialect had any connection with Aramaic, how many times he could fit on the head of a pin, or
whether he wasn't just a Norwegian with wings. Those meager let
and crabs walked through the bedrooms.
The owners of the house had no reason to lament. With the money they saved they built
a two-story mansion with balconies and gardens and high netting so that crabs wouldn't get in
during the winter, and with iron bar
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE (1749-1832):
Divan of East and West (1819)
Hold me, curls, securely caught,
To the circle of her face
Beloved tawny snakes, with nought
Full of crisp curls, a head so round!
Can I reward your act of
WILLIAM BLAKE: THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER,
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing, they
SONGS OF INNOCENCE (1789)
And wash in a river. and shine in the Sun.
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Then naked & whit
Because I was happy upon the heath,
WILLIAM BLAKE: "THE LITTLE BLACK BOY,"
And smil'd among the winters snow:
SONGS OF INNOCENCE (1789)
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.
MY mother bore me in the southern wild
VOLTAIRE: CANDIDE (1758)
Chapter 1 - How Candide Was Brought Up in a Magnificent Castle and How He Was Driven Thence
In the country of Westphalia, in the castle of the most noble Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh, lived a
youth whom Nature had endowed with a m
On her way back she happened to meet the young man; she blushed, he blushed also; she
wished him a good morning in a flattering tone, he returned the salute, without knowing what he
said. The next day, as they were rising from dinner, Cunegund and Candide
"Thou deservest not to eat or to drink," replied the orator, "wretch, monster, that thou art!
hence! avoid my sight, nor ever come near me again while thou livest."
The orator's wife happened to put her head out of the window at that instant, when, seeing
his great clemency, he condescended to pardon him, for which his name will be celebrated in every
journal, and in every age. A skillful surgeon made a cure of the flagellated Candide in three weeks
by means of emollient unguents prescribed by Dioscorides.