By Pietro Cittati
Translation: Ahmed Hamida
The hum of Borges’ verses reveals to us that seductive innocence, a dazzling sobriety…dreamy, devoid of all gaudy and ostentation, and that sad serenity that alone inspires philosophical poetry. Let us explore together the features of this poet who seemed to turn his back on the same poetic inspiration.
When Borges was contemplating himself in a mirror, he had an acute sense of terror. Impenetrable purity (dwelling in the rippling water of the sky, in the smooth and still surface of ebony, in the alabaster white or the fuzzy pink of a flower) reflected the face of a gentle, discreet human being, enamored with “sand hours and the playing of coffee and the flavor of coffee, and in the journalism of the eighteenth century.” Stevenson’s prose.
Behind that gentle and friendly face, and the poet’s words, which were accompanied by a stray melody… gloomy, a deep and deep void opened. And when this man contemplates for a long time in the depths of the mirror, it seems to him that everything is on its way to fading, to fading, fading, and obscuring, and out of nothing will emerge “some coldness and a dream that no one dreams”: a concave and trembling echo of something, which may have existed and happened centuries ago.
How could he soften the bitter taste of the illusion that was inhabiting him, which was possessing him and withering him? Out of that emptiness… out of that cold and nothingness, “Shakespeare in him” had succeeded, without trouble or joy, in extracting an entire world, full of heroes and clowns, dwarves and witches, vast forests and rivers… the vastness of the sea. But Borges did not have any of the characteristics of Shakespeare, so he fixed his eyes on his reflexive face, and stared at him closely, and it seemed to him to fragment, crumbling and multiplying into countless faces.. Faces chasing other faces, all similar to him, all different from him. .
fun to read
He knew more than anyone the dangerous pleasure of reading, that endless endeavor that multiplies the number of people and things…more than could be possible for those mirrors, and which instilled in the writer a sense of two things: the completely static nature of existence, and its absolute volatility. So he took the initiative to play, and tortured forgery, assuming the character of the clown, who would not stop wearing new masks on his face, as he wanted to escape from himself and seek refuge in its variances. statements and narrations, real and fictitious books, realistic or idealized labyrinths, and in the end.. that prolonged flight that will take place without stopping towards the dizzying frontiers of eternity, there.. where delirium and the vertigo it generates became ominous, and no one could say definitively. If Borges, when he realized the tension point towards it all his lines, had really found his identity… Or had he lost it forever.
When we read Borges’ last poems, we feel that something has changed in his art. The earth no longer trembles under our feet and before our eyes, and we no longer see in the mirrors the absurd and empty shadows, the endless flow of images and illusions. Everyone knows what happened during the years separating “Illusion” (1944), “Thousands” (1952) and “Praise of the Shadow” (1952). A stubborn mist erased the lines of his hand, and the stars left the darkness of his night, and the ground under his feet became unsafe and trembling: Borges was blinded and wrapped in his arms. At first, he was terrified of a person abandoned by life, then he realized that the darkness had not completely applied to him, and that another darkness, dark, gentle and soft, would tomorrow change the things that were once accurate and clear, lukewarm and separate, blurry and flashing – friends they no longer have Faces, blank pages, women with feelings similar to those they had long ago.
Borges had the feeling that he was returning home after years of wandering, the ground of his life had become stable and stable, his library full of books, and the mirror of his secret (which is not that sterile crystal mirror in which deceptive reflections dwell) provides him with a definite and clear picture of himself. Borges is now finally in control of his own destiny, and can manage that fate with pleasant sobriety, who has always lived in the dark dungeons and the mysterious and dubious dahlias of life.
And if Borges was once a mere book reader, now he has become a ‘keeper of books’. He knew that his quest became hopeless, hardly possible. The great volumes… there… at the top and behind it, became guarding the sublime things: “the gardens/the temples/the rites which constitute wisdom…”. If those books escape the grip of time, he, the blind old man, no longer has his hands to reach the drowsy and dusty shelves, and perhaps he will no longer recognize the symbols, the syllables, the words, the verses, and the language he guards. However, this guard did not give up hope.
It has become the memory of the world… Just as the volumes became as short and secret as the stars, they were also “close to it and visible as the stars”. It has given him its essence rather than its vocabulary. And that indescribable wisdom, which appears in the form of words and judgments, is usually possessed only by those who have lived, suffered and abandoned.
Dribbling and evading
Borges’ style flashes a new, different light. This artist of prose writing, lukewarm and elegant, who loved surprise and arbitrariness, and ranged between prepositions, evasions, and fun formulas… clever, without shyness, became a great poet of allegory. No longer to fascinate him, neither the works of Stern nor the “Sweida of Paris”, influencing leaving issues such as difference, variety or surprise, to other pens, simplifying the world and purifying the language, he became in love with what he considered the past, a mere game, and used as a central metaphor, what he saw in it as a strange metaphor. He thought that he needed hints and references, and he only deals with his topics from one side and in a twisted way, and through a fog of successive contexts.
the secrets of existence
Now he is simply charmingly expressing the mysteries of existence. And in the light of an imminent sunset, Borges never so softened and softened his words, he no longer needed to provoke and agitate his wit, to overwhelm a surprising spontaneity (that extreme spontaneity, risky and elusive, which only great players and remorseful deceivers possess) sends him every syllable, Each poem is preserved in the museum refreshing his memory. Everything he writes is emanating from a sense of reassurance and a spiritual stillness. And the hum of his verses revealed that seductive innocence, that dazzling and dreamy sobriety, devoid of all gaiety or ostentation, that sad serenity that alone inspires philosophical poetry. And if he continues to play, his sobriety is hidden behind a cloud of secrecy and secrecy. And if he tries to play again on the chords of irony, that irony has become covered with prestige and dignity. Perhaps he was touching the softer tone, when he was yielding to the melodious elegance of rhyme, which he longed for and embraced. As if this blind ‘keeper of the books’ needed to express his most intimate thoughts in lighter verses from the book and its weights.
The world, as Borges represented it, is always changing and resurrecting. Time flows with him like a river that is ever-present, all appearances in it change, dissolve and wither, and faces in its abyss do not cease to slip to replace each other, and perish to resurrect – identical – in other new faces, and it is difficult to advance in the middle of this river. And in every day on a two-edged earth – dawn and night – history is enclosed. Every moment that passes, and we think it is ours, magically hides many other moments, past or coming, moments that may be real or ideal. How do we cross from one moment to the next, and with every step we take, a terrifying maze opens before us: possibilities, possibilities, ramifications… all invite us and bother us: difficult paths, complex and elusive, round rooms that open to other new doors, winding corridors, Unexpected, interweaving of unknown lives… multiple… all of which draw us to the shores of creativity.
The essence of Borges’ art lies in the fact that it is a contemplation of being behind the windows closed with the utmost precision of the small observatory.. for a man of literature who was.. and when he crossed the winding and frightening labyrinths, his thought became clearer, and his steps became more urgent and poise, as those of a man without Other than the blind stiffness of the straight line is known. And when he contemplates the infinite, he reflects it in a dot or in a tiny mirror, and then divides it into the elegant precision of a small size. And when he represents the whole that crouches all over the moments of our lives, he draws it with the very delicate line that the ancient Chinese artist used to single out for the moon, for trees and for fish. The result is paradoxical. Perhaps this poet who writes down his work under the capricious signature of Heraclitus is “in the end” the last Bermanidi in Western literature.