Luís Fernando Veríssimo


De Braziliaanse schrijver Luís Fernando Veríssimo werd geboren op 26 september 1936 in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Veríssimo is de zoon van de Braziliaanse schrijver Erico Veríssimo en woonde in zijn jeugd samen met zijn vader in de Verenigde Staten. Veríssimo is een grote fan van jazz, en speelt zelf saxofoon in een band genaamd Jazz 6. Net als veel andere Braziliaanse intellectuelen geniet hij van de cultuur van Rio de Janeiro. Veríssimo is een criticus van rechtse politici, vooral van de voormalige president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Verder is Veríssimo dol op voetbal en heeft hij ook veel teksten geschreven over deze passie.


Uit: Borges and the Eternal Orangutans (Vertaald door Jull Costa)


„I will try to be your eyes, Jorge. I am following the advice you gave me when we said goodbye: “Write, and you will remember.” I will try to remember, with more exactitude this time, so that you can see what I saw, so that you can unveil the mystery and arrive at the truth. We always write in order to remember the truth. When we invent, it is only in order to remember the truth more exactly.

Geography is destiny. If Buenos Aires were not so close to Porto Alegre, none of this would have happened, but I did not see that I was being subtly summoned or that this story needed me in order to be written. I did not see that I was being plunged headfirst into the plot, like a pen into an inkwell.

The circumstances of my visit to Buenos Aires were, as I now know, planned with all the care of someone setting a trap for a particular animal. At the time, however, enthusiasm blinded me to this. I did not realise that I had been chosen as an accessory to a crime, as neutral and innocent as the mirrors in a room.

The 1985 Israfel Society Conference, the first meeting of Edgar Allan Poe specialists to be held outside the northern hemisphere, was to take place in Buenos Aires, less than a thousand kilometres from my apartment in Bonfim, and was, therefore, within the budget of a poor translator and teacher of English (which, as you know, is what I am). One of the invited speakers was to be Joachim Rotkopf, who was to lecture on the origins of European surrealism to be found in Poe’s work, precisely the topic that had provoked the controversy with Professor Xavier Urquiza from Mendoza, and that had kept me so amused in the pages of The Gold-Bug, the Society journal. All this seemed to me a mere accumulation of happy and irresistible coincidences. I decided not to resist. At least, I thought I decided.“



Luís Fernando Veríssimo (Porto Alegre, 26 september 1936)