Sunday, January 24, 2016

101. Rizal's Memory

In that story by Jorge Luis Borges, Shakespeare's memory is transferred from one person to another through a telephone call. The premise sounds preposterous at first impression but Borges executes it well and the possibilities of  Shakespeare's memory inhabiting a modern human brain becomes entertaining and profound. I have been toying around with Borges's scheme and have wondered whose brain from my own memory of historical characters would be cool and handy in 2016. Let's imagine Rizal's brain, for example, which would be relevant to smoothen out some blurred lines on his biography, such as his recantation. Perhaps, Rizal's brain can be asked to finish his third novel, Makamisa. Maybe he can even do a review of his, "Mi Ultimo Adios," or at least give it his own title. It may be of interest to Rizal enthusiasts, but we must also be wary of the torments that lurk in his memory -- his dead baby, his aging parents, the revolution that he spurred which led to his execution, and  his sweet stanger, Josephine Bracken, whom he left behind a young widow. As in Borges's story, the amusement tapers off when the host realizes, it's not going to be easy. We don't want to do this. Beautiful Borges story. Let's keep it at that.

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