Tuesday, December 20, 2005

La Muerte y la Brujula

So far, there have been no entries at all to the First Annual Accidental Blog Literary Competition, the goal of which was to rewrite any short story or poem by Jorge Luis Borges as if it had been composed by 'Chopper' Read... Surely 'Death and the Compass' ought to be easy.

The prize I had mentioned was a walk-on part as yourself in my upcoming Christmas Story about Giant Robots, 'A Christmas Story about Giant Robots', which I am going to finish in the next few weeks, so I am going to set a deadline for this feeble competition: the end of the year, or the end of human civilisation, whichever comes first.

Here is the beginning of 'A Christmas Story about Giant Robots':

If he had slept for just a few days longer, Dr Tamafearoa would have missed Christmas entirely. But the Dorado started waking its passengers on the day the colonists called December 18th, earlier than expected, and had finished by the 20th, and just after dawn on the 21st Dr Tamafearoa walked out onto the surface of a new world. All that he owned he carried in a little box in his right hand, except for his clothes, and the box itself- which was of ankylosaur shell inlaid with simestones- and two hundred thousand square kilometers of desert on the planet Lepidoptera which his aunt had left him. The sky was all peach and silver, like the new metal Dt Tamfearoa’s aunt had discovered, and the long shadow of Londonderry Tower stretched away in front of him, pointing to the Western Jungles. Long threads of cloud, the kind that had not been seen on Dr Tamafearoa’s world for a dozen generations, stretched across the bowl of the sky from one side to another.
‘That is where I will go,’ he said to himself, taking a deep breath of the humid air. He marveled at the smell of it, the honey and jasmine and ozone and faint drying bacon smell of this new world. He had always wanted to go to the Western Jungles. ‘I’ve always wanted to go to the Western Jungles,’ he said to himself, taking a little step forward like a child learning to walk. He had never said this to himself before, or even thought it, but he knew it was true. He took another step tentatively forward, unsure of how to deal with the traffic in the street. It was wide and clean, and lined with golden trees a hundred metres high, like any street anywhere, but the people! The people looked to Dr Tamafearoa like trees walking around. They wore clothes that looked like flowers, or clothes that were flowers, with a thousand things like leaves or petals that shimmered as they moved. They moved quickly, but did not go from place to place in the straightest way, and they spoke more loudly than Dr Tamafearoa was used to, and laughed more readily, and smelled the way people on Dr Tamfearoa’s world used to smell, before they were all deodourised.

1 comment:

Marco said...

I haven't read anything by Jorge Luis Borges or chopper read. However, If you can ignore copyright restrictions and post some (the shortest?) example of each. I will probably try to put in a notional entry :-)