I, who have been so many men (some regrettable), will never be the one whose reading the book on Borges of the former president Zapatero. I have read the interviews and the prologue and I have enough: I do not need to tire its pages to know that no Borgian or Borgean illumination will bring me I will not betray Borges (Huso), a very political title making promises.
When the news of this book came out, I felt a mixture of amazement and discomfort: as if his very idea infamous the universe. The only relationship between Zapatero and Borges that occurred to me (I play with his titles and metaphors aside) was how decisive the former president has been in the Argentineization of Spain, with the emergence of various Peronisms: what Borges most detested. Without having been rewarded with a Borges.
On the contrary, we have I will not betray Borges. If mirrors and copulation are abominable because they multiply the number of men, what is the man who multiplies the number of books about Borges? At the foot of the pyramids of Egypt, Borges took a handful of sand and threw it further. “I have modified the desert,” he said. Zapatero could say with equal property: “I have undermined an enormous bibliography.”
I imagine Bioy reading to Borges some pages from Zapatero’s book on a busy afternoon in Buenos Aires. Noticing the self-absorbed friend, he interrupts to demand a trial. With a melancholy not incompatible with mischief, Borges says: “Well, it can be considered a new chapter of the Universal history of infamy, ¿no?”.
I could go on like this until the end of this column, which is close to now. But the columnist that I was when I started it has been fading throughout the morning. In his place there is another who remembers the other Borges: not the annihilator but the one who said that there is no book that does not contain at least one happy line. I will never know, but surely Zapatero’s contains it too.
In the sovereign act of reading, which Borges related to the bishop’s philosophy Berkeley, for whom reality only exists when we perceive it, there is a singular Borges, who perhaps does not resemble any Borges. And it is the Borges that exists in Zapatero’s reading.
Perhaps the feat of Pierre Menard writing the Quixote is not superior to that of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero reading Borges.
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