"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Death Shall Be Dethroned

Los, A Chapter, the Journal
Hélène Cixous


The children

During the summer of 2012, whenever I talk about Carlos with the children it is in the garden under the arbu­tus tree's branches, it is in a tender, dreamy voice, it is very gentle and telepathic, all three of us are in the same spir­itual region, effortlessly we step back forty years, leaning lightly into the same vegetable dream, we haven't changed at all, we savor Carlos's warm and boisterous presence, we haven't changed our minds, forty years haven't tarnished the Los moment, although they have bitten into chewed up sanded down the coast of the ocean we were walking along. Over there, where Carlos stood in his bardic trance summoning the Ocean to open its jaws and release the legend of the other side, no longer exists. The Ocean has swallowed Los's path. If I point to where he stood facing his oncoming book - I saw him from behind, and no one filmed us - that platform of boards and sand is now open sea.

There is no trench of time between the year Los and the year 14. Memory-the-upsurge, memory-the-liar cuts and pastes in a single caress. Our three minds turn with a single smile toward Carlos's great guffaw. At times we were as one, Rue Lhomond, a quick joyous Schubert quartet. From Rue Lhomond 1968 the water of memory swells gently to break over the Atlantic garden 2014, comes to bathe our feet, falls back, goes to stretch out on the American shore, returns, bringing Carlos's indelible luminous ghost. The water rises, with the tide's long, quick, measured stride. To say that henceforth Los is the Enigma's given name, I thought. To think that he was the least enigmatic, the most agreeably transparent of all my inhabitants.

An arbor of trees untamed. Under the dais of mimosas, laurels and arbutus, between the columns of the pines we say the words "the children," "mama," "carlos"; in the false appearance of reality there are three of us, in truth we are seven of whom three actors are embodied in the summer of 2014 - my daughter, my son, me - and four radiant, tenacious subjects - Carlos, my son, my daughter, me - in peak form, in 1969. Chance's light shines on us, there was no misunderstanding, we say the words that don't age, safe childhoods are at play, we address our questions to all ages, sometimes it is my paternal son, sometimes my son the reed the straw adrift among the stars, who answers; now the hair darkens now it is dusted with white.

I was, I am. These five are my witnesses. Their youths watch my youth flash by.

In the neighboring scene Eve shuffles her one hundred years inch by inch toward the goal, she repeats the old soldier's distress call to his impotent commander: help me, help me, help me, help me, help me, little mama. Reader, multiply these notes by fifteen thousand: this is the music of my days. In this scene I am thirty-two years old, I bend over the cradle of my Uralt nurseling, my soul is in a knot, I say: tell me what I can do for you, I will do it. What do you want? - I don't know, says my ancient, my age-old child.

Broken worn out we creep along the hundred-year-old path, me my mother who calls me mama moaning.