Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dr Copeland - Dr. Michelle Copeland's Emerge Facelift Cream

Broadway Basketeers Gourmet Chocolate Gift Tower

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Caviar Page

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man

Let philosophers look for the substance that underlies all of creation; that is the unreduced element of matter. Let mathematicians, astronomer, biologists, and physicists construct axioms and build a cosmos and so interpret reality within their limited models. Let linguists search for the Adamic language--but let master writers be free.

The fiction and non-fiction writer must be free to explore the depths of humanity. D. H. Lawrence said, "Being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher and the poet. The novel is the one bright book of life."

Yet, as disparate and chaotic as fine writers might seem to be, we can see that there's some method to their madness. Master writers will tell the reader what their novel is about right from the very beginning; they may not say it openly, but the hint is there for the reader to catch.

Tongue in cheek: Opening Sentence

Whether we like it or not sometimes we just have to go on reading as we ask ourselves, "Where's this going to?" If Jane Austen in her opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice uses the language of axioms and mathematics -"a truth universally acknowledged"- we have no choice but to assume that she is being not only lighthearted but also playful.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

Right away we feel that the novel will be humorous, light, and that the main theme will be about fortune and marriage.

A Sunday sermon: An opening Sentence

Having written his masterpiece, Ana Karenina, Tolstoy proceeds to write an opening sentence that would encapsulate what the long monster of a novel will be about. This is opening sentence what he came up with:

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

And unhappy families are the main attraction. I can just hear Tolstoy saying, "Anyone can write about happy families; there's nothing interesting about them. But since unhappy families are unique in their own ill-fortunes-let's be on our way, let me tell you about the Oblonsky's, the Levin's, and the Karenina's."

More than a dream-a nightmare: A masterful opening sentence

The Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez once declared that Kafka's opening of his novelette The Metamorphosis, convinced him that he could write equally --if not better-- fantastic stories.

To dare to write the following sentence opener and book opener, Kafka must have felt total intellectual freedom:

"When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin."

Lesser writers beg for the readers' indulgence and suspension of disbelief. Faced with the problem of verisimilitude most fiction writers agonize over this speed bump. Not Kafka. With one stroke of the pen he dunks his readers into the depths of a hellish nightmare.

A flash-forward and a flashback:A Violent Sentence Opening

Years of solitude, firing squads, colonels, the Buendias, ice, fathers, and distant afternoons is what Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude is about.

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

Master writers distinguish between sentence openers, sentence openings, and first sentences. To ignore these basic concepts can only work to the detriment of the writer's creation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Corporations are People Says Mitt Romney - What is the Definition of Corporation?

What is the Definition of ‘Corporation’?
A corporation is a business organized as a legal entity separate and distinct from its owners under state corporation law.

How Did Justice John Marshall Define ‘Corporation’?
In 1819 Chief Justice John Marshall defined a corporation as “an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.


Are Corporations People?
 Corporations are owned by people (shareholders or stockholders) who purchase the stock, but the corporation itself isn't a human being, or human beings, or people. People fall in love, they beget children, they can read and write--corporations don't have these attributes and many others that make people people.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whenever you feel like critizicing anyone," he told me, "just remember: Nick Carraway

As Nick Carraway opens his narration of Gatsby, he tells us about his father's advice:
"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
With the Republican primaries in full explosion --South Carolina, just after Iowa and New Hampshire, and moving on to Florida -- I feel sorry for Mitt Romney.

Why? must one feel sorry for a wealthy man? It's not a case of envy --as he defines criticism of his wealth-- but a case of character. In overcoming the Freudian shadow of his father, he has been relentless in his criticism of others, but especially Newt Ginrich and President Obama.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a fine novelist who had a deep insight into the flaws of the wealthy. And he was correct in writing:

"Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there - Lewis Carroll

In one of my courses, last semester, I had a mature student who was the leader of the class. Not only did he study, got high grades in his exams, participated in class, but he also showed dedication and patience.

As I gained his trust, one day he intimated that he had resolved “this time” to stay the course and get his associate degree. “For the past 20 years I’ve been in and out of college—totally unfocused.”

This is what happens to many people: they have no plan. As the saying goes: People do not plan to fail; they fail to plan.” And at the least distraction they stray from their path to success.

Lewis Carroll –through the Cheshire cat—said in Alice in Wonderland:
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  
How true that is!

To succeed in life one must have a blueprint of the life we want to build. Just like engineers and architects we must have plans and blueprints to follow; these must be on paper. In other words, we must sign a contract with ourselves.

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Private Equity Guide Books: Interview with Erlend Peterson, Author of “Rich by Choice"

Posted on Private Equity Guide Books A Selection of Books that Can Make you a Professional in the Private Equity Field).

Erlend Peterson is a financial planner with thirty-two years of experience managing money. He is the author of three books including “Money Changes Everything” and “The Challenge of Wealth.” “Rich by Choice” is specifically geared toward helping the middle-class become affluent.
Tyler: Welcome, Erlend. I know the topic of your book is one every reader wants to know about: “How can I make or save more money”? I understand personal experiences made you decide to become a financial planner and write these books. Would you tell us a little about why you decided to go down that career path?
Erlend: I retired at 40! Wow! Great! Beautiful wife, 6 kids, 3-1/2 acre estate with tennis court and swimming pool. Three years later, I was broke, so I decided to learn how to handle my money and invest.
Tyler: The first chapter of your book, “Rich by Choice” is titled “Rich or Poor, It’s Your Choice.” I am curious if you would agree that many people have a negative attitude toward money and feel they cannot improve their economic situations. The idea that they choose their own financial situation may seem overwhelming to them. What would you say to such people?
Erlend: Yes, it is possible to become rich. Anybody can.

a. Know that it is possible. All you need is a steady income

b. Decide to do it, you want to do it, you need to do it, and you know it can be done.

c. You start. Work out a plan and begin.

d. Follow your plan and watch your results month by month, year after year.
Tyler: Why do you think so many people find themselves with financial difficulties?
Erlend: People find themselves in financial difficulties for three reasons: (1) Personal finance, investing, and money management are not taught in our schools, not in high schools or college. That’s why I wrote my books. (2) In this country anyone can become rich, there are no restrictions, so I think a lot of people just assume that they will somehow become rich and they start spending as if they already were. (3) The banks and credit cards give credit to everybody. A lot of people take advantage of that and spend money they don’t have.
Tyler: Do you feel parents and schools need to take more responsibility toward teaching children about money? What kinds of suggestions would you have for teaching children about money?
Erlend: Yes, both parents and schools should start teaching children about money. Schools should start teaching classes about personal finance. When parents give their kids an allowance, they should start talking about money. An allowance is income. You can only spend money based on what you earn, your income. When the parents file their taxes, they should discuss that with their kids. Discuss cars and auto insurance, and that can lead to discussing other kinds of insurance: Homeowners, life, etc. Discuss their monthly bills occasionally: Water, gas, electric, cable and their charge accounts and credit cards. Take the kids into their bank and discuss the bank and what it does and what it doesn’t do.
Tyler: That’s great advice, Erlend. What do you feel sets “Rich by Choice” apart from the many other books about money out there, especially those by such well-known personalities as Suze Orman?
Erlend: Money is a number: 14 cents, $1.50, $2,000, $1,000,000.
a. My book has numbers, charts and tables, all the numbers you need to make your situation work.
b. Suze Orman has no numbers; neither do most of the other books that are available.
c. My books have true stories and practical illustrations that show how money works and how it will work for you.
Tyler: I understand your book has a seven-step plan to wealth. Would you tell us what those seven steps are?
The Seven Steps are:
1. Cash reserve
2. Insurance
3. Fixed income savings
4. Growth investments
5. Tax planning
6. Retirement planning
7. Estate planning
Tyler: In “Rich by Choice” you talk about how much insurance a person needs and which ones are essential. Would you give us a summary of your opinions on insurance?
Erlend: If you own a car in California and other states, you must have auto insurance. If you own a home, get homeowners insurance. Your home is a huge asset and it deserves protection. If you have financial dependents, parents, kids, others, you need life insurance to protect their income stream.
Tyler: Are there certain kinds of life insurance you wouldn’t recommend? Can a person have too much insurance? How much is enough?
Erlend: Not everybody needs life insurance. If no one is dependent on you for their income and financial needs, you don’t need life insurance.
In a typical family situation, the working parent or parents should have enough life insurance to provide total income for the family for two to five years if they die prematurely. This should be whole life or universal life. Plan to keep these policies for your lifetime. You pay the premium monthly or annually as long as you have the policy, or you can arrange to have the policy paid up at age 65 or some other age. These policies build cash value inside the policy as long as you make the payments, and this cash value build-up after 20 or 30 or 40 years can provide extra income for you in your retirement.
Other common types of life insurance are term life and variable universal life. Variable universal life invests some of your premium payments into various types of mutual funds, instead of the guaranteed fixed investment in the regular universal life and whole life policies. These mutual fund investments in the variable life policies can go up or down so there is considerable risk to the cash value portion of these policies. The monthly or annual premium or cost of variable life is much more than universal or whole life.
Term life insurance is issued for a specific term of years, usually 5-10 or 20 years. At the end of the term, the policy lapses, ends, or you can renew it based on your age then, at a much higher cost. Term life has no cash value build-up and is therefore much cheaper than the other policies.
Because of the great differences in these policies, it would be good to discuss your need for life insurance and get quotes from agents at three different companies.
Tyler: Thanks, Erlend. You certainly know about life insurance. How about real estate? We hear so much today about the importance of investing in it. How important do you think real estate is to gaining wealth and financial independence, and what would you say is the next best thing to do for people who are not interested in buying and selling properties?
Erlend: Real estate works, but it takes some cash and steady effort on your part. You must rent out the property, collect the rent, pay the property taxes, make repairs, etc. Real estate prices also run in cycles; the prices go up and down. They are high now. If you have the cash, the time and the skill, real estate works.
Mutual funds are much simpler:
a. Pick good funds, with 10-12% annual growth over the last 3 – 5 -10 years.
b. Make steady investments every paycheck.
c. Watch the results grow.
Tyler: What about U.S. Savings Bonds? Lots of people buy U.S. Savings Bonds regularly through their paychecks or they give them as gifts or save them to use for their children’s education. Do you feel U.S. Savings Bonds are a good investment?
Erlend: U.S. Savings Bonds are the safest investment in the world. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. In the Seven Step process, they fit on Step 3, fixed income savings. The problem with them is they are (1) long term, 20 or 30 years, so you could lose money if you had to cash them in early, and (2) they only pay 4-5-6%. Good long-term investments should pay 8-10-12% or more. You can now buy most investments regularly through your bank or payroll.
Tyler: Which do you feel is more important, buying a home and then using your extra money to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible, or to take that extra money and invest it?
Erlend: Let the mortgage run. It has tax benefits. Put all available income into tax qualified retirement plans: IRA, 401-K, 403-B, 457, etc. When you are investing the max in them, then make extra mortgage payments.
Tyler: What is the first thing you would suggest a person do to start the journey toward being rich?
Erlend: The first thing each person must do when they realize or decide that they want to be RICH is to stop and examine their present financial situation and think about their future situation and what they want it to be. This does not have to be done in detail down to the last dollar, but just enough to get a sense of where they are going. They need to know that it is absolutely possible to get there.
Knowing what you want to do and knowing that it is possible are the first step. Then you do it.
Tyler: Erlend, if people only learned one thing from your book, what do you hope it would be?
Erlend: That they can become rich, because anybody can, and therefore, that they will start NOW.
Tyler: Thanks so much, Erlend. I could easily think of a hundred more questions to ask you about money, but we’ll leave it up to the readers to get more information by purchasing a copy of your book “Rich by Choice.” Will you tell readers where they can get more information about your book and where to purchase it?
Erlend: And thank you, Tyler. I’ll be glad to answer your next hundred questions, ten at a time. I really want to help everybody who wants help, to become financially secure … that is, rich.
My books can be found on the Internet at:
And at: Barnes & Noble book stores and
Tyler: Thank you, Erlend. I wish you and all our readers well on the road to prosperity.
Interview with Erlend Peterson
author of Rich by Choice: A Complete Guide to Your Financial Success

Seven Locks Press (2007)
ISBN 0979095034
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (5/07)

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If you don't know where you're going, any road - Lewis Carroll

The famous citation "If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there" is really a paraphrase of a conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Chapter 6 of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

Friday, January 20, 2012

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there - Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll (1832 – 1898), English Logician, Mathematician, Photographer and Novelist, is especially remembered for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. His writings and ideas have been an enormous influence in many fields of the arts and sciences, all over the world. 

Carroll’s particular mix of creativity, puns, fantasy, word play, satire, Dadaist nonsense, and weird wit have gained him a place in popular culture. His most memorable characters are: Alice herself, the March Hare, the wise Dodo, a mad Hatter, the hookah smoking Blue Caterpillar, and the Cheshire Cat.
This famous cat is the source of such oft-quoted witticisms, puns and peculiar phrases. Take for instance:
“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  
Although many of Carroll’s witticisms may appear nonsensical —on the surface— if we dig a little deeper we can find some serious hidden pearls.

Here are some other famous sayings:

“Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it”, “We called him Tortoise because he taught us”, “No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise”, “She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)”, “I can't explain myself, I’m afraid, because I’m not myself, you see”, “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today”, “Sentence first, verdict afterwards”, and “Curiouser and curiouser!”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My choices in life were either to be a piano player : Harry Truman

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois ).

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Top and Best-Rated Microwave Ovens

I can do without my LED TV, without my cell phone, without my electric blanket, and even my computer—but I can never do without my microwave oven. This is unthinkable!

But what can you your do if your microwave is on the blink? Mine started to become as loud as an approaching subway. The turntable was kaput. Occasionally I could hear the fan belts squeak, and worst of all: cooking and heating time was taking longer.
I read somewhere that if your microwave oven takes longer than 2 minutes to boil a mug of water, then it is time to do something about it.

Will you go through the yellow pages and find someone to check if it can be fixed? It could be just a fuse blown out after all. But on second thought, you had the machine for the past 10 years. Shouldn’t we move the economy and purchase a new one? Ten years seems like a good return on investment.

In my case, I decided to replace it. The repairman shop across the street told me that just to open it and diagnose the illness would cost me $80. And if parts were needed that would bring me over $100, and maybe even $200.

With a little research in the Web I could tell that most new microwave ovens’ prices hover around $200. But the problem was to determine right away, what design, color, and style would appeal to my taste. The varieties are overwhelming.

Since I am a person of little technical knowledge I decided to consult the Consumer Report and other publications. Aha! What a bright idea. Lo and behold, these publications rank the little workhorses; that made it easy for me to make my mind as to what was suitable to my needs.

These little nuke ovens make use of powerful electromagnetic waves which helps heat food quickly. This is my main use, though I’ve been known to whip up a few meals in no time at all.

The top-rated large countertop model is the Whirlpool MT41555 PB. Further research told me that it wasn’t even over $200! Next came the GE Profile JES 2251 SJ [xx]. In third place I found the Whirlpool Gold GT41755PB. Now if you really want to go to town, and your needs demand an Over-the-range model, then by all means try a Samsung or a Kenmore—they go for about $500.

See details on the top 10-rated.

I can’t reveal my choice because this is a matter of personal taste. But I believe that any of the microwave ovens that are listed in the top ten can perform well. So go ahead and think about replacing the tired horse--but choose with good sense.


#1 Whirlpool MT4155SPB

#2 GE Profile JES2251SJ

#3 Whirlpool Gold GT4175SPB

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book Review of The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musahi

The Book Of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musahi, written in 1645, is about the "Way of Strategy,"which is using certain techniques to take down the enemy.

Because of when the book was written,you have to be aware of the imagery and language used - enemy, weapon, combat, sword, cutting and so on. Once you get beyond that, and use those words as metaphors, a lot can be gleaned from the book.

To adapt the book to our time, an enemy could be a metaphor for competitor.

The Book Of Five Rings emphasizes the importance of practicing and mastering your art - becoming adept at what you do. Your strategy should either be decisive or fluid. You have a fluid strategy when you have obstacles in your way. Musahi outlines Principles of the Way of Strategy. Though the principles are over three and a half centuries old, they are still applicable.

Do not think dishonestly, The Way is in training, Become acquainted with every art, Know the Ways of all professions, Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters, Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything, Perceive those things which cannot be seen, Pay attention even to trifles, Do nothing which is of no use.

From the book, I found the following to be insightful nuggets: Lay your plans with true measure and then perform the work according to plan, thus you pass through life. The strategist makes small things into big things. The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things. Everything is difficult at first. If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. Do what you have to do, even if it means doing it alone.Discern your competitor's capability and know your strong points.Do not show your hand. Do not let everybody know what you're doing. If your strategy doesn't work change it. When you're in a deadlock change your technique.Abandon efforts that do not work, think of your situation in a fresh spirit. Whenever we have become preoccupied with small details, we must suddenly change into a large spirit, interchanging large with small

Five Great Ideas: You must train day and night to make quick decisions. In strategy it is necessary to treat training as a part of normal life with your spirit unchanging. There is timing in everything. Timing in Strategy cannot be mastered without a great deal of practice. In strategy, it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things. The Way to Understanding is through experience.

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the void. This not true void. It is bewilderment. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear way, there is the true void (By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist; that is the void).

If you can get past some of the disturbing imagery you could gain a lot from The Book Of Five Rings. This is a book where you can take its concepts and apply them to your work and life. I recommend The Book of Five Rings. Avil Beckford, Chief Invisible Mentor, writer and researcher with over 15 years of experience is the published author of Tales of People Who Get It and its companion workbook Journey to Getting It. Subscribe to the Invisible Mentor Blog for great information to ignite your hidden genius, and explore the Resources page for free whitepapers and an e-book.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Borges Stories: The House of Asterion (La Casa de Asterion) Spanish and English

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986)

The House of Asterion (translated from the Spanish by Marciano Guerrero)

And the queen gave birth to a son named Asterion.
Apollodorus, Library, III, I

I know they accuse me of arrogance, perhaps also of misanthropy, and perhaps of insanity, too. Such accusations (which I shall punish in due course) are laughable. It is true that I do not leave my house, but it is also true that its doors (which are infinite* in number) are open day and night to both men and animals. Let him enter if he so wishes. He will not find womanish extravagance here, nor bizarre courtly ritual, but only quiet and solitude. Likewise, he will find a house like no other on the face of the Earth. (Those who declare that in Egypt exists a similar one—lie). Even my detractors admit that there is not a single piece of furniture in the house. Another ridiculous lie is that I, Asterion, am a prisoner. Need I repeat that there isn’t a single door closed, and should I add that there isn’t a single lock either? To all this, I did at some dusk step out onto the street; if I returned home before nightfall, I did so because of the fear that the faces of the rabble, faces discolored and as flat as an open hand, had induced in me. The sun had already set, but the helpless cry of a babe and the coarse supplications of the common herd signaled that I had been recognized. The people prayed, fled and fell prostrate; some climbed up to the stylobate of the temple of Axes, others gathered stones. Someone, I believe, hid himself under the sea. Not in vain was my mother a queen; I cannot mix with the populace, though my modesty wishes it.

The fact is that I am unique. What a man can transmit to others does not interest me; like the philosopher, I think nothing is communicable by the art of writing. Annoying and trivial minutiae have no place in my spirit, a spirit formed for greatness. Never have I discerned the difference between one letter and another. A certain generous impatience has not consented that I should learn to read. Sometimes I deplore this, for the nights and days are long.

Naturally, I do not lack for amusement. Like a charging ram, I run through the stone galleries until dizzily I tumble to the ground. Sometimes I crouch in the shadows of a cistern or at the corner of a corridor and pretend that I am being hunted. There are rooftops from which I can hurl myself until I am bloody. At any time I can play at being asleep, my eyes shut, my breathing heavy. (Sometimes I really do sleep, sometimes the color of the day has changed by the time I open my eyes). But of all the games I play, the one I prefer is pretending there is another Asterion. I pretend that he has come to visit me and I show him around the house. With great reverence I tell him: Now we return to the previous intersection, or Now we come unto another courtyard, or I knew you would like this drain, or Now you will see a cistern that has filled with sand, or Now you will see how the cellar forks. Sometimes I err and we both laugh heartily.

Not only have I imagined those games, but I have also meditated about the house. Each part of the house repeats many times, any particular place is another place. There is not one cistern, one courtyard, one drinking fountain, or one manger; there are fourteen [an infinitude of] mangers, drinking fountains, courtyards, and cisterns. The house is the size of the world; or rather, it is the world. Nevertheless, by dint of exhausting all the courtyards with their cisterns and the dusty galleries of grey stone, I have reached the street and I have seen the temple of Axes and the sea. This I did not understand until a night vision revealed to me that there are also fourteen [an infinitude of] seas and temples. Everything exists many times over, fourteen times, but there are two things in the world that seem to exist only once; above, the intricate Sun; below, Asterion. Perhaps I have created the stars and the Sun and the enormous house, but I no longer remember it.

Every nine years nine men enter the house so that I may deliver them from all evil. I hear their footsteps or their voices in the depths of the stone galleries and I run with joy in search of them. The ceremony lasts but a few minutes. One after another, they fall to the ground without even bloodying my hands. Where they fall, they remain, and the cadavers help to distinguish one gallery from another. I ignore who they are, but I do know that one of them prophesied, at the moment of his death, that someday my redeemer would come. Since then, the solitude does not pain me because I know that my redeemer lives, and in the end he will rise above the dust. If I could hear all the rumblings of the world, I would perceive the sound of his footsteps. Let’s hope he takes me to a place with fewer galleries and fewer doors.

What will my redeemer be like? I wonder. Will he be a bull or a man? Will he be perhaps a bull with the face of a man? Or will he be like me?

The morning Sun glittered on the bronze sword. No trace of blood remained.

“Would you believe it, Ariadne?” said Theseus. “The minotaur hardly put up a fight.”

* The original says fourteen, but there is ample reason to infer that in Asterion’s utterance, this adjectival numeral is no different to infinite.

La Casa de Asterión por Jorge Luis Borges

Y la reina dio a luz un hijo que se llamó Asterión.
Apolodoro, Biblioteca, III, I

Sé que me acusan de soberbia, y tal vez de misantropía, y tal vez de locura. Tales acusaciones (que yo castigaré a su debido tiempo) son irrisorias. Es verdad que no salgo de mi casa, pero también es verdad que sus puertas (cuyo número es infinito*) están abiertas día y noche a los hombres y también a los animales. Que entre el que quiera. No hallará pompas mujeriles aquí ni el bizarro aparato de los palacios, pero sí la quietud y la soledad. Asimismo hallará una casa como no hay otra en la faz de la tierra. (Mienten los que declaran que en Egipto hay una parecida.) Hasta mis detractores admiten que no hay un solo mueble en la casa. Otra especie ridícula es que yo, Asterión, soy un prisionero. ¿Repetiré que no hay una puerta cerrada, añadiré que ho hay una cerradura? Por lo demás, algún atardecer he pisado la calle; si antes de la noche volví, lo hice por el temor que me infundieron las caras de la plebe, caras descoloridas y aplanadas, como la mano abierta. Ya se había puesto el sol, pero el desvalido llanto de un niño y las toscas plegarias de la grey dijeron que me habían reconocido. La gente oraba, huía, se prosternaba; unos se encaramaban al estilóbato del templo de las Hachas, otros juntaban piedras. Alguno, creo, se ocultó bajo el mar. No en vano fue una reina mi madra; no puedo confundirme con el vulgo, aunque mi modestia lo quiera.

El hecho es que soy único. No me interesa lo que un hombre pueda trasmitir a otros hombres; como el filósofo, pienso que nada es comunicable por el arte de la escritura. Las enojosas y triviales minucias no tienen cabida en mi espíritu, que está capacitado para lo grande; jamás he retenido la diferencia entre una letra y otra. Cierta impaciencia generosa no ha consentido que yo aprendiera a leer. A veces lo deploro, porque las noches y los días son largos.

Claro que no me faltan distracciones. Semejante al carnero que va a embestir, corro por las galerías de piedra hasta rodar al suelo, mareado. Me agazapo a la sombra de un aljibe o a la vuelta de un corredor y juego a que me buscan. Hay azoteas desde las que me dejo caer, hasta ensangrentarme. A cualquier hora puedo jugar a estar dormido, con los ojos cerrados y la respiración poderosa. (A veces me duermo realmente, a veces ha cambiado el color del día cuando he abierto los ojos.) Pero de tantos juegos el que prefiero es el de otro Asterión. Finjo que viene a visitarme y que yo le muestro la casa. Con grandes reverencias le digo: Ahora volvemos a la encrucijada anterior o Ahora desembocamos en otro patio o Bien decía yo que te gustaría la canaleta o Ahora verás una cisterna que se llenó de arena o Ya verás cómo el sótano se bifurca. A veces me equivoco y nos reímos buenamente los dos.

No sólo he imaginado eso juegos, también he meditado sobre la casa. Todas las partes de la casa están muchas veces, cualquier lugar es otro lugar. No hay un aljibe, un patio, un abrevadero, un pesebre; son catorce [son infinitos] los pesebres, abrevaderos, patios, aljibes. La casa es del tamaño del mundo; mejor dicho, es el mundo. Sin embargo, a fuerza de fatigar patios con un aljibe y polvorientas galerías de piedra gris, he alcanzado la calle y he visto el templo de las Hachas y el mar. Eso no lo entendí hasta que una visión de la noche me reveló que también son catorce [son infinitos] los mares y los templos. Todo está muchas veces, catorce veces, pero dos cosas hay en el mundo que parecen estar una sola vez: arriba, el intrincado sol; abajo, Asterión. Quizá yo he creado las estrellas y el sol y la enorme casa, pero ya no me acuerdo.

Cada nueve años entran en la casa nueve hombres para que yo los libere de todo mal. Oigo sus pasos o su voz en el fondo de las galerías de piedra y corro alegremente a buscarlos. La ceremonia dura pocos minutos. Uno tras otro caen sin que yo me ensangriente las manos. Donde cayeron, quedan, y los cadáveres ayudan a distinguir una galería de las otras. Ignoro quiénes son, pero sé que uno de ellos profetizó, en la hora de su muerte, que alguna vez llegaría mi redentor. Desde entonces no me duele la soledad, porque sé que vive mi redeentor y al fin se levantará sobre el polvo. Si mi oído alcanzara los rumores del mundo, yo percibiría sus pasos. Ojalá me lleve a un lugar con menos galerías y menos puertas. ¿Cómo será mi redentor?, me pregunto. ¿Será un toro o un hombre? ¿Será tal vez un toro con cara de hombre? ¿O será como yo?

El sol de la mañana reverberó en la espada de bronce. Ya no quedaba ni un vestigio de sangre.

- ¿Lo creerás, Ariadna? – dijo Teseo. – El minotauro apenas se defendió.

* El original dice catorce, pero sobran motives para inferir que en boca de Asterión, ese adjetivo numeral vale por infinitos.