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The dream which Pedro Henríquez Ureña dreamed close to dawn one day in 1946 consisted, oddly enough, not of images but of slow, specific words. The voice which spoke them was not his own, but resembled it. Its tone, in spite of the mournful possibilities implicit in what it said, was impersonal and matter-of-fact. During the dream, which was short, Pedro knew that he was asleep in his own room, with his wife at his side. In the dark, the dream addressed him:

Some nights ago, on a corner of the Calle Córdoba, you discussed with Borges the invocation of the Anonymous One of Seville: “O Death come in silence as you are wont to do in the hands of the clock". You both suspected it to be the deliberate echo of some Latin text, inasmuch as these transliterations corresponded with the habits of a particular time, totally outside our own notions of plagiarism, unquestionably less literary than practical. What you did not suspect, what you could not suspect, is that the dialogue was a prophetic one. In a few hours, you will be hurrying along the last platform of Constitution Station, to give your class at the University of La Plata. You will catch the train , put your briefcase on the rack and settle in your seat, beside the window. Someone, whose name I do not know but whose face I am seeing, will address some words to you. You will not reply, because you will be dead. You will already have said goodbye, as usual, to your wife and children. You will not remember this dream, because your forgetting is necessary to the fulfilment of these events.


Jorge Luis Borges, 1972
English Translation by Alastair Reid

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