Happy Birthday, Carlos María Domínguez, born 23 April 1955
- To build up a library is to create a life. It's never just a random collection of books.
- It is often much harder to get rid of books than to acquire them. They stick to us in that pact of need and oblivion we make with them, witnesses to a moment in our lives we will never see again. While they are still there, it is part of us.
- When we read under our breath, we produce the sound of the letters at an inaudible frequency. But the sound is still there. The voice is present, it is never missing. It follows the line just as an instrument follows a sheet of music, and I can assure you it’s just as essential as the eyes. It creates a tone, a melody that flows through words and phrases, so that if you add real music at a soft volume, deep inside the ear a harmonic counterpoint is created between one’s own voice and the music from the speakers.
- Even in the heady, tenacious hope of the printed word, made possible by printers, designers, secretaries, typesetters, commentators, writers, and messengers, craftsmen in inks and bindings, illustrators, prologue writers, cultured critics of memory, paper is an organic product that, like the pine trees on the road, sooner or later falls prey to the jaws of the sea in a silent, devastating collapse.
- Then one day, unexpectedly, you lose the sequence of these memories. They’re still there, but you can’t find them…Your personal history is lost…The worst thing about it is that the facts are there, just waiting for someone to stumble on them. But you don’t have the key. It’s not forgetfulness drawing its kind veil over things we cannot tolerate. It’s a sealed memory, an obsessive call to which there is no answer.
Dominguez is an Argentine writer and journalist. He is the author of The House of Paper.
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