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Your Other Life, Waiting

If I now write, in the cafés of Paris, The Seamstress and the Wind, as I have proposed, it’s only to accelerate the process. What process? A process with no name, or form, or content. Or results. If it helps me survive, it’s only the way some little riddle would have. I think that for a process to be sustained over time there must always be the intrigue of a point out of place. But nothing will be discovered in the end, or at the beginning either, because the decision has already been made: I will never travel again. Suddenly, I’m in a café in Paris, writing, giving expression to anachronistic decisions made in the very heart of the fear of adventure (in a café in my neighborhood, Flores). A person can come to believe he has another life, in addition to his own, and logically he believes that he has it somewhere else, waiting for him. But you only have to test this theory once to see it doesn’t hold. One trip is enough (I made two). There’s only one life, and it is in its place. But still, something must have happened. If I’ve written, it’s been so I might interpolate forgetfulness between my life and myself. I was successful there. When a memory appears, it brings nothing with it, only a combination of itself and its negative aftereffects. And the whirlwind. And me.


The imagination, this marvelous faculty, does nothing, if left uncontrolled, but lean on memory. “Memory makes things felt, heard and seen rise into the light, a bit the way a bolus of grass rises again in a ruminant. It may be chewed, but it is neither digested nor transformed.” (Boulez)

—César Aira, The Seamstress and the Wind

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