Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To Make Me Who I Am

I have mentioned this line from Borges before (several times actually), but it is one that always comes back to me: "I shall remain in Borges, not in myself (if it is true that I am someone), but I recognize myself less in his books than in many others or in the laborious strumming of a guitar."

It came back to me again in Reginald Shepherd's "To Make Me Who I Am," the long autobiographical essay which opens his Orpheus in the Bronx, when I recognized myself in this:

My gifts were also my curse, and I wished that my differences (I knew that I was smart and that being smart was better) also came with the power to defend myself against those who rejected me.

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