Letter from the Chacras de Coria Ice-cream seller

23.09.2010 - Mendoza - Pía Figueroa

**-In chess, when the game is finished both the pawn and the king are put into the same box-**

I made an unforgivable mistake: I never kept a record of all of the conversations that I had with Silo. Understandable, but unforgivable. There were so many over a long period of time that I need to make a binnacle, a record of more than 28 years of shared moments. And learn. In various contexts, the conversations almost always focussed on everyday life, generally the banal object of the superficial relations, when we had time and desire, to delve into the depths of philosophy, sociology and the unfathomable human beings and their becoming. It was an end to end game; an unspoken agreement of the relationship of different individuals, sharing ideas, but not always in total agreement.

I am not going to give an opinion on his literary works at the moment and, following the semiologist Roland Barthes, who says that the real author disappears, we will turn our attention not to what he claimed to say, but to what the reader perceives and understands, what they interpret and comprehend. Thus, when the author dies the reader is born. There is no better interpreter of an author’s work, than the work itself. They read Silo.

The world is a slightly better place due to the passage of *El Negro*. To talk about him is to talk about Ana Luisa, extremely intelligent and scathing, she was my Nemesis in the discussions where I was present, but with the passage of time and the ups and downs of the tales, we reached an agreement. It was not an easy task: a work of Silo’s infinite patience. And then, sometimes, she was my ally on some subjects.

He has undoubtedly been a defender of human integrity, from a singular stature in the knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the human soul. In the emergency of the postmodern emptiness, his work shone by establishing a search for sense, a destiny for existence, beyond the meanness and trivialities of systematic consumerism. Many issues remain pending in the inkwell: for example, a discussion about Kant and rationality, or the theoretic anti-humanism of Louis Althusser. We will finish these another time.

Chacras de Coria is going to miss his comforting, humble and pleasant presence. His friends and acquaintances in the town will find anecdotes to assert his fight for peace among men. And, whenever the issue is spoken of, *El Negro* will be present.

Guri 20/9/2010

Note: Almost always, alone or with his family, he ate strawberry cream flavoured ice-cream, a single flavour. But in recent years he changed to iced drinks. Always one flavour of ice-cream.

You’ll see, Sancho.

*translation by Kirsty Cumming*

Categories: Culture and Media, International, Opinions, South America


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