Antonio Ortuño On:
Does Anyone Care about the Dust at Hemingway’s House? by José Miguel Tomasena
The British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge told a famous story (which greatly fascinated Borges) about how, with the invaluable aid of opium, he came up with his poem ‘Kubla Khan’ in a dream and managed to get down about fifty verses before the unexpected visit of a ‘Person from Porlock’ interrupted him. Coleridge had dreamed a perfect poem of three hundred verses but only managed a sixth. Kubla Khan would forever remain incomplete. The character in this story by José Miguel Tomasena experiences a variation on the same problem: he sees a story in his dreams and is desperate to get it down on paper, but the entire universe (personified by his immediate surroundings) gets in his way. Tomasena is an artist of brevity. He pares down and polishes each phrase until it is reduced to its essential parts, and here he tells a very amusing story with a poker face worthy of Buster Keaton himself.