"Lo primero que el cuentista le pide a su lector es atención; el novelista, paciencia."

miércoles, 9 de enero de 2008

Ketchum 7261

"La barranca"
Óleo sobre tela sobre cartón de José María Fojo, cm. 30,5 x 38,1 - Año 2013

WOULD this be my best tale, had I time enough to finish it? But time is what you have and I have not, and I will tell this tale not with words, but with one sole last deed. A dumb deed that will open for once the closed door, that door which I tried to open by shaking my brainlings to envision the moveable feast that lies on the other side. I know some rascals will cheer up tomorrow, when the newspapers publish the telegram with the news; some others will consider me a traitor, and maybe some remote and unknown boy will resent it as an undeserved sadness or injustice. All of them will be wrong, like the ones who believe I'm mad: they don't perceive that the persecution–mania I did simulate to cover up the decadence of a brain which cannot hold the cue of a long tale or a complex conversation. My work is done, my life concludes, and I'm standing on my feet, as a man must stand up for the important things he does: to box, to drink, to shoot, to write. But this posthumous tale (that mysterious and magic thing a tale is) I cannot write, for the immature purpose of writing a tale on every thing I know no longer lives in me, nor do I know anything about that other side in which I long to dissolve. The moveable feast has turned into a miserable ordeal which alcohol fails to attenuate, and youth and its strength are but iridescent reminiscences, like the piercing memories of wars in Italy and Spain, the hot sea of Cuba, the bullfighting afternoons, the hunting–parties at the Alpujarras and the safaris in Kenya, the golden hair of a woman between my lips. I, alas! do not yet desire all of that junk: at this moment, like lit by a flash, I only understand for whom the bell tolls, and that I long for that tolling. I will not apologise, dear and far–away boy; write the tale for me —sure, for you and for me, Tatie, I'd like to write that last tale, wouldn't I like it! But the burden you bestow upon me seems to me too big and too heavy; and I don't quite understand why you choose me. And the effect of what you're on the brink of doing is the most trivial thing that can happen to a man. You deem yourself strong because strength has always been your motto, and because you believe you're alone and, at the end, you can avail yourself of Nothingness like the nihilists and the vanquished ones in your fictions do: in this your mistake is as big as the one you attribute to us. I'm sorry; I am not going to write the tale for you, Wemedge, because I don't like the ending and I cannot change it —I'm standing on me feet (but I ignore if either for the most important or the most unmeaningful deed of my life, and I do not even know if it's Ernest or me who writes or speaks or thinks), holding the gun with my left hand; I lean the nozzle against my palate; I plug my right thumb into the ring, pressing gently the trigger, and—
. * * *
.In memoriam E. M. H.
J. M. F., 1995