Music and books she says… and books mean literature and for me, good literature. A history then: a few years ago, I walking down my street to take the bus. The street is quite wide and with trees in one side and departments in other and usually I walk in the middle of the banquette, so imagine my surprise when I see that it rains books from the top of a brick building just at mi side! How can someone just trow out the books by the window? No idea. I stop and choose into the mess of the books in the side of the path: "Leonardo Da Vinci, Cuaderno de notas", can you believe this? Leonardo like garbage! Remembering now I can't believe it yet!
In the house we always treat the books like something sacred, but not in the biblical sense! but like something that contained within it the knowledge. I'm not sure what was my first book besides of those of the school gave us every year, but probably was an Iliad and Odyssey together book or maybe a four books collection of science that includes a book with dinosaurs; the last contains black and white plates of the saurian and I made some drawings that I still have; maybe you want to see them someday. I remember another couple of books, very large books of dinosaurs but in color, and one magnificent book in italian of… Leonardo! These very large books were my father. It was a strange destiny with Homer's book cause I read it many years after I received. Then I read it in a edition that was made by the National University around the 20's of the XX century under the direction of José Vasconcelos, Antonieta Rivas Mercado great love and singular Mexican writer. And that reading motivates me to study greek and latin in the National University. Needless to say that my skills for languages and my eternal indolence would not let me learn as much as would have liked, but fruit of those years were my first two books, so I think it was not all lost.
But if there's a capital book in my library, and author that changes everything, that would be Amado Nervo, the poet of Nayarit. In a little red book of the publisher Aguilar I discovered the power of words and that these, the majority new to me, could engender beauty. And what a beauty! Even now, so many years away from adolescence, I still believe unsurpassed in beauty, many of the verses of Nervo:
»Esta niña dulce y grave,
tiene un largo cuello de ave,«
»Oro sobre acero (Eibar y Toledo) han de ser tus amores.«
»Luengos años duró el castillo,
sus ruinas duran ya mil. «
»Pasas por el abismo de mis tristezas
como un rayo de luna sobre los mares,
Ya tramonta mi vida; la tuya empiezas;«
»Todo en ella encantaba, todo en ella atraía:
su mirada, su gesto, su sonrisa, su andar...
El ingenio de Francia de su boca fluía.
Era llena de gracia, como el Avemaría;
¡quien la vio no la pudo ya jamás olvidar!«
»¡No cedas ni a los hombres ni a los ángeles!
(Con un ángel luchó Jacob, inerme,
por el espacio entero de una noche,
… y el ángel le bendijo, complaciéndose
en la suprema audacia del mancebo,
a quien llamó Israel, porque era fuerte
contra Dios…) ¡Ama mucho: el que ama embota
hasta los aguijones de la muerte!«
»Del abismo brota el dia…«
If I start with Nervo, also as endless. There is so much I owe to those who have given away books, books that change your life, it is impossible to set a value to them. But above all, invaluable is the fact that a book take you to another and another and so on forever. I remember as a child I imagined heaven, paradise, as a place where all knowledge was, that is, all the existing books and future, and the same idea I found it much later in a verse of Borges along to Kafka, Rabbi Judá Leon's cat and The Golem, and Prague, your's Prague so close to your heart…
One last story: a few days ago, again in the morning, get off to throw trash in the container and at the top of the reservoir found a pile of books ... again like crap and now not only in Spanish but also in English. As you can imagine, I went back to the apartment to add them to my collection.