Viggo, under a lethal heat I went with my family for a walk. We took Rita for a run in the Palermo parks and Anita to the merry-go-round. In a restaurant where we stopped, I forgot my cell phone and they nicked it. I was never that interested in cell phones; it belongs to the company where I work and I accepted it when Guadalupe got pregnant. The thing is that when I got back home, I called the cell phone company to have it deactivated and - before the operator attended me - I got chained to a recorded message where a TV comedian was saying over and over "Claro is unlimited. Now we can call everybody unlimited; I play the sax in an unlimited way; being unlimited is the best thing in the world; when one is unlimited one sends unlimited mails and messages." Incredible. Suddenly I felt I had encountered an unknown culture where everybody was hopelessly crazy. What happens to people who can be turned on by the cell phone companies' dystopia that promises you an unlimited world? What the fuck do we want an unlimited world for? In any case that repetition of the word unlimited made me think of a great poem by Nicanor Parra -"El hombre imaginario" [The Imaginary Man]. Luckily, poetry always saves the day. You, who know how to look for things on the Internet and paste them (I´m still in the Stone Age), if you can find it, paste it here below for all the Cuervos.
All right, Fabián. I´ll post that prominent poem by Parra with pleasure. They are beautiful words, with a very sad foundation which is hardly mentioned: the woman towards the end of the poem. What´s most moving to me is that Parra wrote that the love of the woman was imaginary, like everything else. Terrible. There are wounds that never heal, never close. It goes very well with the poem by the Japanese Minamoto no Sanemoto.
I´m sorry you have lost your cell phone. Better to have it deactivated, as it seems you have done. Before creating the publishing house Perceval Press in 2002, I knew nothing about computers and didn´t have a cell phone. I had to learn to use those things, especially the laptop, that helps me with the work of publishing, writing and informing myself. And with watching San Lorenzo playing from anywhere in the world! I´m still buying newspapers and books, but it´s true that the Internet can also help you a lot to understand and remember. But you have to be careful, because technology is like ivy or a poisonous creature of the "Alien" kind that can suck more time out of you than it can save you, that can suffocate you if you get too hooked. I think that one day I´ll stop using the laptop. Before dying, I hope. I think it´s lovely to imagine the two kids we were, each one alone with his comic, smelling the printed paper, trying to understand a story and images which in that moment were the most important thing - maybe the only thing - that existed for them.
To you and to any Cuerva or Cuervo who is reading us, here is a recording of the great Chilean poet's words, read by himself:
For those who don´t want to or can't look for the poem in that link from Youtube -or who want to read it instead of listening to it - here is the text:
The imaginary man
lives in an imaginary mansion
surrounded by imaginary trees
on the bank of an imaginary river
From the imaginary walls
hang imaginary ancient paintings
representing imaginary deeds
irreparable imaginary cracks
that represent imaginary events
that took place in imaginary worlds
in imaginary times and places
Every afternoon imaginary afternoon
he climbs the imaginary stairs
and leans out of the imaginary balcony
to look at the imaginary landscape
which consists of an imaginary valley
surrounded by imaginary hills
are coming down the imaginary road
singing imaginary songs
to the death of the imaginary sun
And in the imaginary moon nights
he dreams of an imaginary woman
who offered him her imaginary love
he feels again that same pain
that same imaginary pleasure
and the heart
of the imaginary man beats again.
- Nicanor Parra