At the beginning of that year, as agreed with my parents, I reported to the Faculty of Law of Columbia National University in Bogota. Most of the tenants were college students from the Atlantic coast who lived in a residential apartment on Florian Street in the city center.
No class in the afternoon, I didn’t go to work-study program, but I was sitting in the room or reading in a suitable cafe. The book was obtained by chance or by luck, and more by chance. A friend who can afford a book lends it to me, and the loan period is extremely short. I have to read it all night to be able to return it on time. In this way, I was lucky to find DH Lawrence, Athos Huxley, Graham Green, Chesterton, William Erish and many other writers.
One night, my roommate Vega brought back the 3 books I just bought. As usual, I lent me a book as a pillow to help me sleep well. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be counterproductive, and I can no longer fall asleep like I used to. That book is Kafka’s “Transfiguration”.
After reading “Transfiguration”, I can’t help longing to live in that unique paradise. As the new day dawned, I sat in front of the portable typewriter that Domingo Manuel Vega lent me and tried to write stories similar to Kafka’s poor civil servants becoming big beetles. In the next few days, I did not go to school, and I was still immersed in it. I was mad with jealousy, and suddenly saw the painful remarks made by Eduardo Saramea Borda in the newspaper. He lamented that the new generation of Colombian writers were lackluster and no one succeeded. I do not know why, I regard these remarks as a book of war, and hurriedly represent a new generation of writers in the battle, picking up the short stories thrown away, hoping to turn the tide. The short plot revolves around the conscious “corpse” in Metamorphosis, but there is no pretense mystery and no ontological prejudice.
The result of the manuscript sent on Tuesday, I was not in a hurry to know. I always felt that it was not that fast to post. I hung out in various cafes for two weeks to eliminate the anxiety on Saturday afternoon. On September 13th, I walked into the windmill cafe, and as soon as I entered the door, I heard that my short story “Third Endure” was published in the full-page in the newly listed “Observer”.
My first reaction was: broken, a newspaper would cost 5 yuan (a currency unit) and I have no money to buy it. This can best explain my poverty. In addition to newspapers, affordable daily consumption abounds for five students: taking a tram once, making a public phone call, drinking a cup of coffee, and wiping leather shoes. The drizzle was still quietly down the ground. I rushed to the street in the rain, but I couldn’t find an acquaintance who could lend me too many lives. On Saturday afternoon, there was no one other than the proprietress, but the proprietress was not there. Yes, I still owe her two months of rent, which is 720 times that of 5 students.
I walked helplessly in the rain. God has an eye, let me see a man walked out of the taxi with an “Observer”. I walked over head-on, begging him to give me the newspaper. In this way, I read my first short story printed in typeface-an illustration by the newspaper painter Hernan Merino. I hid back in the room, my heart beat, and read it in one breath. Reading word by word, I gradually realized the huge destructive power of the typeface.
I devoted so much love and pain, imitating Kafka, a whimsical genius, and now I read it all in obscure, fragmented self-talk, with only three or four sentences unsatisfactory. After nearly 20 years, I dared to read it again, and my judgment-despite sympathy-was even more intolerant.