Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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LIX - You Live With a Good Memory

There are those reminiscences that do not rest before the penna or the language publishes them. An old man used to say that he has a good memory. Life is full of such people, and I am one of them, although the proof of having a weak memory is exactly do not come to me now the name of such an ancient; but it was an old one, and that's enough.

No, no, my memory is not good. On the contrary, it is comparable to someone who had lived in hostels, without saving them nor faces or names, and only rare circumstances. To those who spend their lives in the same family home, with their eternal furniture and customs, people and affinities, is recorded by everything for continuity and repetition. How I envy those who did not forget the color of the first trousers they wore! I can not match the one I made. I swear they were not yellow because I do this color; but this could be forgetfulness and confusion.

And rather be forgetful than confusion; I explain myself. Nothing fits well in the confused books, but everything could be found in the books that are omitted. I, when I read some of this other caste, never regret it. What I do, in the end, is to close my eyes and evoke all the things I did not find in it. How many fine ideas do I have then! What deep thoughts! The rivers, the mountains, the meadows I have not seen on the leaves read, all appear to me now with their waters, their trees, their altars, and the generaes draw from the swords that had remained in the scabbard, and the bugles release the notes who slept in the metal, and everything went with an unforeseen soul.

It's just that everything is from a flawed book, a friendly reader. Thus I fill in the gaps of others; so you can also fill mine.


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