The certainty that fiction depends not only on the person who constructs it but on the person who reads. Fiction is also a position of the interpreter. Not that everything is a fiction…but everything can be read as a fiction. What is specific to Borges (if such a thing exists) is the capacity to read everything as a fiction and to believe in its power. Fiction as a theory of reading.
He published some books—and perhaps will publish some more—solely in order to justify this writing. “And so, to speak of myself is to speak of this diary,” he said. “Everything that I am is in there, but there are only words.”
A list of things I want:
Swim in the sea.
Clifford Brown with Max Roach.
Go through the antiquarian bookshops.
Listen to A German Requiem by Brahms.
Aníbal Troilo playing at Caño 14.
Ignacio Corsini singing “Pensalo bien.”
Go to the cinema during the day and come out while there’s still sun.
Sergi wine, ’40 vintage.
Rodolfo Walsh introduced me to him, playing the competitive game, à la Hemingway, and announced me like a national boxing prodigy, as though I were a welterweight with great promise and a secret mission to defeat the champions in the category.
Rereading my notebooks is a narrative lesson: everything is organized chronologically according to the cuts of days of the week…. But, in reading them, things change and I start to discover connections, repetitions, the persistence of certain motifs that reappear and define the tone of these pages.
That is why I am transcribing my diaries, because I want people to know that even now, at seventy-three years of age, I still think in the same way, criticizing the same things that I criticized when I was twenty.
One of the lessons…is the fluctuation between what can be done or said and what can be neither said nor done. A diary should be written about the second part of the sentence; that is, you should ultimately write about the limits or the frontiers that make certain words or actions impossible.
You are inside the world you narrate. What I mean is that you must never say anything that is external to the universe of the action. The narrator must know less than the protagonists.
A narrator who adheres to the present and relates the events as they take place without imposing onto them the meanings they will have in the future.
It proves that all writing holds a secret and is the site of some revenge. The secret is always a wound (impotence, alcohol, self-destruction); the revenge is the penance that life makes the writer pay. The poet consumes his life up until the final judgment and, in suffering, pays the price for the beauty he produces.