A Memory of Borges
In the early 1980s, before Borges passed away, I was serving in the military. Being fascinated by his literary works, I elected to send a letter to Argentina. Your stories read like poems, and your narrative imagination has opened up the new world to me. After praising him, I added one last sentiment. “I’d like donate my poem book Ghosts to your Library of Babel.” Though I did not expect any reply at all, to my surprise, he returned my letter. I was ecstatic for weeks even though the sightless writer probably had his secretary send it. I remember the contents word for word. All three sentences. “Thank you for donating your book to our library. / We will keep the book no more than one hundred years. / After that, reclaim it please.”
Jeong Han-yong: poet, born in 1958, poetry 『How to Make a Mink Coat』 etc.
Translated by Seth Feldman