Prologue: Felisberto, by Esther Allen (section 21 of 25)

June 19, 2009

Some of the things that attracted his attention:

The two halves of an open casement window, facing each other in perfect parallel.

A black cat or dog.

Hands in general; the sight of his own “knotty black” hand, and the thought of it entwined with the white hand of a certain woman.

A white dress.

Tree-lined streets, and a view through tall tree trunks into the distance.

Shifting patterns of light over the surfaces of things.

Balconies, raised platforms, upper tiers.


Dimly lit rooms. The moment when a light goes out.

Hats in general, and the shadows cast by hat brims. Veils.

Trains and streetcars.

A glimpse of his own face in two mirrors that met at a right angle, showing him half his head attached to the ear of the other half.

Modern architecture, which he loathed.

—from the prologue on Felisberto Hernández,
by Esther Allen, in Lands of Memory


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