There is a good story by Borges entitled “The Immortal.” It is precisely about someone who cannot die, and this is his tragedy. “With Homer we said goodbye at the gates of Tangier. I don’t think we said goodbye ”. Among the immortals, farewells are more than unusual, impossible. Every moment, every moment will be repeated in another moment, another moment. Immortality makes memory insubstantial. Why remember if I will surely relive what I left behind? I correct the word “back”. There is no back, there is no front, there is no temporality. The immortal lives in linear time. The dimensions of the past stopped making sense. And the future lacks drama. The word “goodbye” does not exist. Homer and the protagonist of Borges’s story have an unappealable certainty: at some point they will meet again. They have eternity for this to happen. Hence Borges writes his deepest text: “Death or its allusion makes men precious and pathetic.” We are precious because each moment is unique. It will not happen again. We are pathetic because our finitude obliterates our desire for perpetuity. No one is immortal. We born to die. And we are not prepared to bear the loss, the absence.

It is always painful to lose someone. It is always intolerable that one day we will not be there, that everything will continue without us. As Gardel y Lepera’s tango says: “His eyes were closed and the world keeps on going”. It is an excruciating pain – for those who remain, for those who are still alive and do not die – the loss of those who leave. How does everything stay the same if the loved one is gone? The death of the other always leaves us alone. Everything else follows its course, the sun rises, the moon also, it can rain, it can be hot or cold, nothing changes. People fill the streets. He does what he does every day: he walks in a hurry, looks at his cell phone, talks, gestures, laughs or the shadow of sadness is drawn on his face. Communication technology is a weapon against death. Because it is a weapon not to think. However, each loss overwhelms us because in the death of the other we discover or ratify our own end. We are radically, unquestionably finite. Am I never going to see Horacio again? Will I never present a book of yours again? And what about Juan, who came home not long ago and encouraged me to come out of an existential void that I came out of and was able to tell him? Because I was able to tell him, yes, that he was fine and that he had done something or enough for such a thing to happen. Now it is not here. I can’t tell you anything. He left early, he left young, he was still about to give us a lot of him. Like Horacio, who will no longer display the magic of his intellect, of his erudition close to wisdom.

We made a book with Horacio. It was called “History and Passion.” There we deal with the issue of finitude. We start, of course, from Heidegger. For this great anti-Semitic thinker and admirer of the “greatness of national socialism” Dasein, the being-there, is thrown into the world, this condition of being-in-the-world carries the certainty of being-for-death . While we live, we do it in the “not yet” mode. We are not dead yet. But we know that finiteness is our destiny. That at any moment (because death is always imminent) I can be dead. But not even this. Because nobody is dead. To die is not to be. Cease to be.

Are Horacio and Juan there? They are not there and never will be. We will always have the relief of reading his works, of remembering them with the love and guilt of having survived them. Charlie Chaplin is credited with a consolation phrase: “There is only one thing as inevitable as death: life.” Others say: “We must live in such a way that our death is an injustice.”

Death is always an injustice. No one should die. Because they are all irreplaceable. There will be no more Forn back covers or Horacio books. God is also a comfort in the face of death. Some are lucky to have faith. They await a Paradise, a new life, a Kingdom of Heaven. I don’t know if God exists or not, I don’t know and I can’t know. But my suspicion about his disinterest in human destiny grows with the years.

Anyway, I know that neither I nor many others will forget Horacio and Juan soon or easily. Gershwin died at age 38. Schubert at 32, Mozart at 36, Mendelssohn around. They haven’t been around for a long time. But yes, they are. Every time we listen to their music they are. The creators die but not their creations. The human condition must be heroic. Man is the only being who not only dies, but knows that he dies. However, we suffer the death of the beings we have loved because we do not resign ourselves to losing them. It is an injustice. Death, damn it.


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