Having just finished the task of reshelving of all the books in my own library (I’m glad that’s done!), I actually had the time to read Ariel Dorfman’s tale of his “lost library.”
How often, during the years of roving, had I not dreamed of the day when I would hold in my hands the first book of my lost library, place it back on a shelf, turn and reach for the next one, untouched during all those years, thumb it, read a couple of lines, glide into those pages and find a note scribbled in the margin by my younger self, and then look up as if roused from a delirium, the next volume calling for rediscovery, how often had this future been evoked?
But the rendezvous with mi biblioteca did not quite turn out the way I had imagined.
Dorman’s lost, divided library is a metaphor not only for his own life in exile but also of his native Chile during and now after the dictatorship.