OP-ED Jorge Luis Borges’ 30th anniversary is June the 14th
He passed away in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 14, 1986 when, like a character of his own fancy literary tales, he quietly “looked after his death” in his final day on Earth “as one looks after one’s own sleep…”
He had planned to die and be buried in Europe, not in South America— exactly like Carlos Fuentes, from Mexico, who chose a Paris cemetery instead, next to the graves of immortal French Poets.
This fascination of our American writers with the Old Continent can be profound as it can be outright funny.
Is America perhaps not big enough to hold their negligible ashes, not to mention their fatuous egos of the considerable men they were, perhaps too conscious of their own greatness?
Borges, for example, was perhaps the greatest Latin American writer of the 20th Century, way above those many others better known, either because they got the Nobel, or simply had better PR and marketing operations on the ground to move their names to the top of the NYT list of “the most read.”
Borges, on the contrary, was the self-effacing, often self-deprecating man who, on purpose, stayed away from the literary congresses, the awards, the fame— all pure inanities to him.
When he came once to the U.S. to speak, in a perfect English he learned from his British grandmother in Buenos Aires, he told his academic audience that he only aspired “to be sincere.”
Jorge Luis Borges is turning “30 years old” this week into this, his new life of “immortal men of letters,” born the moment he died.
He may also get a second chance to be better known in the American continent (both North and South) which ignored him, and often condemned him while he was alive.
No wonder he chose to be left in peace, in a peaceful graveyard, in a peaceful cemetery, in peaceful Switzerland.
Well deserved, Maestro.
R.I.P., eternally, if from Eternity you can grant us the verbal license to say that.
Well deserved, maestro. Yes, RIP.
Eternally, if we can dare to say that.