|31 July 2020 - Photograph by Rebecca Stewart|
Imagine my delight when a couple of days after my birthday on August 31st, I received a little package from Hornby Island. The package contained a pocketbook and a handwritten (really!) card from my writer friend Kerry McPhedran.
People like McPhedran may not have been all that rare in the last century as there were quite a few people that I knew (including my mother) who were polite, thoughtful, classy and well-mannered. My Burnaby daughter hammers me constantly with the fact that I am a lucky man to have friends, and better than that, friends that visit. While I wear my wrist watch on my right wrist to remind me to be vocally positive it’s still hard to fake it all the time.
McPhedran doubted that I would not have the Borges book she sent me. She was wonderfully wrong! I have almost all of Borges’s output, but this book, a conversation with Borges in Cambridge by author Richard Burgin in 1968 (Borges was almost 70 and at Harvard to lecture) is in English. I have few Borges books in English that have not been translated from Spanish.
Conversations with Borges begins like no other book might begin. It has a prologue by Borges!
And in Burgin’s introduction I found this:
That first conversation ended when he said, with the sincerity of a child, “You may win your heart’s desire, but in the end you’re cheated of it by death.”