El adolescente / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Adolescent

I was traveling, during a vacation, along the Adriatic coast. I was idling in an unsafe skiff, painted white, like the swan at full sail, enemy of fire in Ovid’s fable.
     I was gathering from my dealings with fishermen the story of the heroes of sea and mountain and confronting their ingenuous discourse with a certain egregious passage from Titus Livius, where one intuits the threat of the pirates from Illyria.
     I have paid reverence in more than one defenseless coat of arms to the authority of Venice and that of Ragusa, the rival of Slavic lineage.
     I was bringing together the memories of pagan antiquity with the emotions of Shakespeare’s cheerful or somber drama and I had abandoned, on more than one occasion the scrutiny of a difficult text to allay the women of my fantasy, frightened by a mischievous imp from A Midsummer Night.
     I had emerged from my withdrawal on the island of tedium and had renounced my childish habits and was now stepping upon a castle of uncertain age. No one remembered the name of its owners.
     A woman was spying my steps from a circular pane, similar to a rose window, and I distinguished in her face the dignity and diversion of Olivia.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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