michael, 2010 michael and ben feast in beachport

Travelling with books

I am partially native to many cities and foreign to others. As I move from city to city, I roll a small red bag packed with books. It is my travelling library, part of a greater collection gather dust, let’s say, in the city I visited last. I have read there is a donkey in South America that carries a library up mountains leaving books for people a month at a time. It is with this obstinacy and practicality I carry my library of thirty books or so.

Most the books change, and I have left various friends behind: Calvino, Camus, Coetzee, Casares, to name some Cs. But, seven books travel with me: a volume of Jorge Luis Borges’ essays which reminds me to speak genuinely and generously, Richard Burton’s One Thousand and One Nights which reminds me to tell stories, Eyal Weizman’s thesis on contemporary architectural theory in the fighting between Israel and Palestine which reminds me reality is the basis of imagination, to shake things my interests with fascination and that in life there are times one must take sides, an Jean Baudrillard essay which on two pages reminds me all is not as it seems but as I make it, a collection of George Orwell essays which reminds me to write, and Herbert Mason’s version of Gilgamesh which reminds me to love and be genuine.

But if asked, the last book is the one I would carry alone: a complete volume of Jorge Luis Borges’ of short fictions because it reminds me above all to imagine.

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  1. By Travelling with books | Israel Today on 2010/04/25 at 15:04

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