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FUENTES, Carlos



Terra Nostra

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Since I neither want not can influence the events of the world, my mission is to preserve the internal integrity and equilibrium of my mind; that will be in which the manor in which I recover the purity of the original act; I shall be my own citadel, and to it I shall retire to protect myself against a hostile and corrupt world. I shall be my own citadel and, within it, my own and only citizen.

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The mystery of other individuals, señor caballero, is ordinarily grief we neither share nor understand.

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First of all, señor caballero, I shall tell you this: long centuries of exhortation have taught us that we can trust only in our five senses. Ideas flourish and swiftly fade, memories are lost, hopes are never fulfilled, sentiments are inconstant. The senses of smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste are the only sure proofs of our existence and of the reflected reality of the world.

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My design, the ancient man said, sucking his lips, is not to win battles with words but to convince the head and the heart of man that we must accept the world as it is, and peacefully; the world we live in is well ordered and offers rewarding riches to those who accept their place in it without protest.

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The Death of Artemio Cruz

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“Time… will exist only in the reconstruction of isolated memory, in the flight of isolated desire, which will be lost once the chance to live is used up, incarnate in this singular individual that you are, a boy, already a moribund old man…"
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“Midday had barely passed: the rays of the sun in decline passed through the root of tropical leaves like water through a sieve, pelting down hard. The time of paralyzed branches, when even the river seemed not to flow.”

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De dood van Artemio Cruz

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Uit je open buik druipt water en bloed. Hopeloos, zeggen ze, hopeloos herhalen ze. De drie. De thrombus breekt los. Zwart bloed dringt naar buiten. Het bloed zal stromen en dan ophouden. Het is al opgehouden. Je zwijgt, je ogen zijn open, nietsziende ogen. Je ijskoude niets meer voelende vingers. Je blauwe nagels. Je trillende kaak. Artemio Cruz... Naam... hopeloos... hartmassage... hopeloos... Je zult het niet weten. Ik draag je in mezelf en met jou sterf ik. Wij drieën... wij sterven. Jij...sterft, bent al gestorven... ik sterf.

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The Old Gringo

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What is the strongest pretext for loving?...If it is necessary, our atomized consciousness invents love, imagines it or feigns it, but does not live without it, since in the midst of infinite dispersion, love, even if as a pretext , gives us the measure of our loss.

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“And the frontier in here?" the North American woman had asked, tapping her forehead. "And the frontier in hear?" General Arroyo had responded, touching his heart. "There's one frontier we only dare to cross at night," the old gringo said. "The frontier of our differences with others, of our battles with ourselves.

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The Years with Laura Diaz

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Returning to the past meant entering an empty, interminable corridor where one could no longer find the usual things or people one wanted to see again... As if they were playing with both our memory and our imagination, the people and things of the past challenged us to situate them in the present, not forgetting they had a past and would have a future although that future would be, precisely, only that of memory, again, in the present.

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