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This article was written on 19 Jan 2012, and is filed under Essays, Miscellania.

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Two Daughters: On Pilar Donoso

Normal posting should resume soon after I finally clear through  an especially bad new year crunch, but I do have a piece up at n+1 about Jose Donoso’s daughter Pilar, author of the recent memoir of her family, Drawing the Veil.

Two Daughters

While researching an article on Donoso, I discovered that his daughter Pilar had written a book called Correr el tupido velo (Drawing the Veil), which was published in 2009. A sort of posthumous collaboration with her father, it tells the story of his life by drawing on her own memories as well as her father’s diaries, released only after his death in 1996.

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One Comment

  1. It seems to underscore that there is no history only biography and if what is begun on the weaver’s loom of the father is flawed it follows that it should not consume the lives of the children. This is so especially if we take Donoso’s view that some private thoughts and secrets of the parent should not be shared with the child who is prone to imitate and to mitigate as opposed to eradicate the imperfect functioning of the weaver. To live is to function that’s all there is. Function or malfunction and recognize the difference would have been better advice and a theme for the ill starred daughter in her tragic preoccupation with understanding the complete and secret father in her attempt at his biography. Take everythihng on evidence there is no better rule. It would be well to first ask the biographer the simple questions: ” What do you know of good or evil? What do you understand of the sum of a man’s life?” before the author’s pen hits the paper. It seems to me that the better lesson learned would be to refuse in your own right to erase a man’s lifetime but to always remember the total man. in the act of contemplation of and in the perception of imperfection lies proof of the absolute in the contrary form, that of perfection. It is in contemplation of the ideal that dreams most likely come true.It is in contemplation of truth that man is most like the Creator. There always seems to be a choice as to where truth will take us. “Fabricated thread” from which lies are told on the loom of one’s life prevents the production of a worthwhile garment to wear into the eternity of the memory of those who will remember us.

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