Friday, April 22, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 60.2 (Daniel Rodríguez Mujica)

Mujica, Daniel Rodríguez
EX LIBRIS, el elogio de la dispersión

Given to me by the author in Havana in 2001.

I keep looking at the author photos on Mujica's books trying to remember what he looked like, but they all seem to have been from the 80s, and I met him in the early 00s. The guy I remember had shoulder-length salt-and-pepper hair and a beard. I'd guess he was in his fifties. He was short, slightly paunchy, wore a panama hat with his shirt untucked. Mostly, he looked like a guy on vacation.

At a party in the apartment of Reina Maria Rodríguez in Havana after the conference, we had a long conversation, during which he kept asking me where I'd learned my Spanish. He was trying to figure out what country I learned the language in and couldn't quite place it. Even though my grammar and vocabulary are far from perfect, I have a pretty convincing accent, which makes people think my Spanish is better than it really is.

I never noticed before that this book was published by XUL editions. I remember when I lived in NYC and worked at the Segue foundation that Roof Books put out an anthology of avant-garde Argentinian poetry from the 80s called The Xul Reader, a compendium of poets who published in a magazine by that name.

It always made me think of that scene in "Ghostbusters" where Bill Murray confronts Sigourney Weaver, who has been transformed into a goddess of the underworld. He calls out her name, "Dana?" Weaver, who looks like a psychedelic Bride of Frankenstein, responds in a deep, masculine, monster voice, "There is no Dana. There is only Xul."


rdeming said...

Does that make you the Keymaster?

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

I am the gatekeeper.