ON READING II: From Roberto Bolaño, 2666

Metaphors are our way of losing ourselves in semblances or treading water in a sea of seeming. In that sense a metaphor is like a life jacket. And remember, there are life jackets that float and others that sink to the bottom like lead. Best not to forget it.

Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people's ideas, like listening to music (oh yes), like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.

"You sound like a bolero," Rosa Amalfitano told her.

"Oh, so that's it," answered Rosa Méndez, "well, boleros are true, mana, the words of the songs come from deep inside all of us and they're always right."

"No," said Rosa Amalfitano, "they seem right, they seem authentic, but they're actually full of sh*t."

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