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¿Qué os admira? ¿Qué os espanta,
si fue mi maestro un sueño,
y estoy temiendo, en mis ansias,
que he de despertar y hallarme
otra vez en mi cerrada
prisión? Y cuando no sea,
el soñarlo sólo basta;
pues así llegué a saber
que toda la dicha humana,
en fin, pasa como sueño,
y quiero hoy aprovecharla
el tiempo que me durare,
pidiendo de nuestras faltas
perdón, pues de pechos nobles
es tan propio el perdonarlas.
Why this wonder, these surprises,
If my teacher was a dream,
And amid my new aspirings
I am fearful I may wake,
And once more a prisoner find me
In my cell? But should I not,
Even to dream it is sufficient:
For I thus have come to know
That at last all human blisses
Pass and vanish as a dream,
And the time that may be given me
I henceforth would turn to gain:
Asking for our faults forgiveness,
Since to generous, noble hearts
It is natural to forgive them.
–Pedro Calderón de la Barca, La vida es sueño act iii, sc xiv, l. 1114 (Segismundo)(1636)(D. MacCarthy transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”