El aprendiz / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Apprentice

I was struggling to find the vestiges of an adventurous shade. I attributed to him the wheel and the compass, the provisions of Saint Catalina or of Urania, and I imagined his descent from an ethereal hall, from an implausible kingdom.
     I was dealing at the time with the master of a sublime art, author of buildings reflected in the lymphs of the Rhine, and attentive to imitating the sidereal regularity, the visible melody of the sky.
     I was continually boring through the earth to discover somber marvels. An outlawed being had celebrated alone with me the lodgings and corridors of a buried metropolis and he added the merits of the gnome in the crystal factory and his misgivings regarding mankind. A stone separated me from the interview, falling weightily into the waters of a crepuscular lagoon.
     I came to think of the artists of a deceased and hidden race. The residue of their greatness had undoubtedly inspired the discipline of my counselor and teacher and I was mistaken when I attributed to him a celestial origin. From that moment he spied my steps, without regretting his benevolence, he followed me through a sinuous cavern and picked me up, inert and delirious, in front of a sepulcher distinguished with the wheel and the compass, the signs of Saint Catalina or of Urania.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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