The House of Asterion

1月, 25, 2021

written by Jorge Luis Borges, 1949
translated by Andrew Hurley







Of course I do not lack for distractions. Sometimes I run like a charging ram through the halls of stone until I tumble dizzily to the ground; sometimes I crouch in the shadow of a wellhead or at a corner in one of the corridors and pretend I am being hunted. There are rooftops from which I can hurl myself until I am bloody. I can pretend anytime I like that I am fall asleep, and lie with my eyes closed and my breathing heavy. (Sometimes I actually fall asleep; sometimes by the time I open my eyes, the color of the day has changed.) But of all the games, the one I like best is pretending that there is another Asterion. I pretend that he has come to visit me, and I show him around the house. (…) Sometimes I make a mistake and the two of us have a good laugh over it.

生贄が届くのを “I can free them from all evil” (私が不幸から解放してあげられるから)と言うところ。Lusus Naturae もそうだけど、モンスターが思っていることと、人間が思っていることには、ズレがありうるのだ。この話のアステリオンは生贄を食べたくて欲しがってるんじゃない。テセウスが来たときの反応も、殺されたくないというよりも、救済としての死を求める気持ちだったように思える。

Every nine years, nine men come into the house so that I can free them from all evil. I hear their footsteps or their voices far away in the galleries of stone, and I run joyously to find them. The ceremony lasts but a few minutes. One after another, they fall, without my ever having to bloody my hands.


Photo by Arfan Abdulazeez on Unsplash