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Christiane Dimitriades: texts of Truth says who shadow says

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September brings with it autumn and exhales its breath over distant lands, the leaves fall from the trees and cover the asphalt in red as a farewell to the fullness of the year. Below the equator, spring begins: the birds return to their old homes, everything is reborn. In the tropics there are only two shades of time: the brief and intense gray of the clouds that flood the streets in their discharge and the radiant light that blinds vision, dyes the landscape white and forces us to look at objects again, to focus them on their right center, to get out of the mirage that duplicates the radiance and our sensory experiences. Painters know well how incandescence disintegrates and dematerializes the environment.


Clarity is displayed with such impudence that it camouflages its



I think of “the black sun” by Georges Bataille, in its profound

“desire of the night.”


The sentinel who guards me, in a moment of carelessness, has

I let my shadow escape.


More than six thousand years of mythology run through my veins, five

one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four Jewish years, two thousand twenty-three

years of the Gregorian calendar and fulminant anemia.


Green is imposed from the tiny roots of any

plant species to the exuberant leafiness of the

corpulent trees. I don’t know their names, maybe because

indifference, or because I avoid wild scenes. My

relationship with nature, which I sometimes perceive as strange and

hostile, has been given to me only through artifice,

copy, that is, of a second reality: all reproduction

It is less cruel and less risky.


In a bold gesture the shadow announces itself, when the traveler sees it

expresses his surprise: «I haven’t told you yet how happy I am

to hear you and not just see you” (Nietzsche).


The coming and going of the waves produces an effect on me that is opposite to that of the

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dense thickness of the forest or jungle. With the sea I hold

an intimate relationship. I recognize how much there is inexplicable in

its vast extension, as if it were the ironic response to

our naive questions. Its dangers remain

diminished when in an act of humanity and good faith, without

winners or losers, it equally welcomes shipwrecked and

suicides to engulf them in the depths of her maternal



That animal that accompanies us until the end of our life

existence, which marches in unison with our perceptions,

this body whose movements are always unpredictable,

like those of the chained dog that, upon leaving its confinement,

takes the lead and forces us to go after him, to follow him

unknown paths.


In their mourning the Jews cover the mirrors of the house, right

habit that hides the pain of our faces.


The naivety of Myshkin, Dostoevsky’s idiot prince,

has surely contributed to forming the image that the common people,

not without reason, it is nowadays made of poets

consider them deprived of cunning, stupid perhaps,

followers of a voice that only emits the echo of things.


Even so I prefer the light breath of the word, its strange

power over the void.


The twilight precedes us: we will be again, briefly,

before the light consumes us.


What we call spirit gains muscle at the expense of

our helpless bodies.


Shame of just babbling words in the shadows, of

spin in a circle around myself without being able to grasp the world, this

country in ruins, turned into a battered toy in the hands

of the pitfall.


The flames of the bonfire project ghostly figures before

the prisoners of the cave. In this allegory dwells a

evidence that Plato does not admit as true. Does it all

certainty is nothing more than the doubleness of facts, and goodness is

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meager alms of existence?


«Give your proverb also meaning: give it shade» (…)

«Truth says who shadow says» (Paul Celan).


A ghostly chronometer maneuvers the hours at its will and

It stops its insistent ticking at the end of the day.


The clumsiness of some demiurge has covered my bones with the

afflicted skin of the universe.


There are words that cut the tongue, that I will never be able to

to pronounce.


You get used to the illness as to the presence of a

suitor, due to his perseverance becomes the

perfect husband In the morning he knows if you will drink coffee or

some fruit, if you will take your usual walk, you will visit the doctor

or you will have enough strength to start writing; but

ignore that desire of yours to remain silent, motionless, scrutinizing

the darkness.


“Perhaps the days emerge, fatal and illusory, from my shadow”

(Jorge Luis Borges)


After tidying and cleaning the apartment, he sits down, I

observes reading like someone contemplating a ghost, with its

usual shyness she hands me paper and pencil, she wants me to help her

to write a letter for his son in exile. “Something nice,

He says, just like what is written in the books. No, Irma, the

Other people’s lines sometimes become true cobwebs of

the ones that are difficult to get rid of. I’m sure your voice will reach

more accurately, to the heart of the words. Tell me, you

I’m listening…


I am two halves that avoid each other, neither wants the other to

snatch away its gloomy sun.


At this time of the afternoon the impulse to write gains momentum

of a beast swinging inside the block to escape from

his imposed seclusion, however, I stop, I cannot



The verb “astonish” was born in the chivalry, from the horror of

the beasts before their own shadows.

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Do not interpret this silence as an arrogant attitude.

It’s not disdain, I just want to return to my language, my language doesn’t

supports translator.


I admire writers who describe the diner plucking leaves

the petals of an artichoke while he ponders about his life,

to those who manage to reconcile that disagreement between the banality of

a gesture and the character’s dissertation about some

unfortunate event.

*The texts selected here belong to the book Truth says who shadow says (El Taller Blanco Ediciones, Colombia, 2023).

*Christiane Dimitriades is Venezuelan, of Greek origin. She was born in Egypt, Cairo (1953), and arrived in Venezuela when she was three years old. She has a degree in Philosophy and later a professor of Aesthetics at the School of Arts (of which she was its director between 1993 and 1996) of the Central University of Venezuela. He has published poetry and essays on art and philosophy in various newspapers and specialized magazines (Image Magazine, National Culture Magazine, Lamigal, M Magazine, Casapaís Ibero-American Magazine, Plav Czech Magazine, El Nacional Literary Paper, El Universal newspaper, among others). and has written texts in several catalogs about national visual artists. She is the author of the collections of poems Of the eternal return (La Draga y el Dragón, Caracas, 1987) and of Encounters of the poet with the psychoanalyst (Fundarte, Caracas, 1991). In 1997 she published a novel: Sabath (Grijalbo, Caracas). She is the compiler of Mínima anthology of aesthetics (2001, Caracas, Editorial Fund of Humanities and Education, Central University of Venezuela). The book Voz de Fondo (Oscar Todtmann Editores, Caracas, 2019) brings together three collections of poems written between 2003 and 2019, namely: Todos losbordes, I speak a language and Voz de Fondo. The Fourth Player is her latest book of poetry published by Dcirdiciones (Caracas, 2020).

The entry Christiane Dimitriades: texts from Truth says who the shadow says was first published in EL NACIONAL.

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