“One puts off the biography like you put off death,”

“To write an autobiography is to etch the words on your own gravestone.”

Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes was one of a group of Latin American writers – they called it “Ibero-American” prose where I came from – whose names read like a pantheon of literary geniuses: Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, and my idol – Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Weavers of magical realism that seduced me with its metaphysical realm…

… and Fuentes enchanted me with his dark tale of “Aura” (see below); a wisp of a book, to be devoured in a minute, but one that remains under the skin for a long time.

I brought it with me to my new country, together with a dedication from a friend wishing me all the best on the threshold of a “Great Voyage”.

Fuentes gave a lecture once at a university I attended, and I waited for a long time in a tight line up of eager students to show him my tattered copy in a foreign language. He must have been very tired at that point, and other than his face and an acknowledgment, I don’t recall much more.

It was a long time ago…

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