Much as one may try to keep both feet firmly on the ground, dreams always rush ahead. But why keep dreams and thoughts in chains?
We carry impressions of countries inside us that we have never set foot in. Books give thoughts wings and form impressions. Some places that one has read about stick in the memory. They do not even have to exist, like Macondo from Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years Western union locations of Solitude” or Juan Carlos Onetti’s Santa María. There are amazing places, like the settlement of the earth eating Indians on the Orinoco river, and places where one would like to have been – for example when Paul Theroux and Jorge Luis Borges met. Some places, like the mines that Eduardo Galeano describes, seem like outposts of hell. There are others, finally – Pablo Neruda’s house in Isla Negra or Vazquez-Figueros’ Manaus – that one would simply like to visit.
From November 2005 to February 2006, I had the opportunity to travel with two reporters through South America on the tracks of such literary places. I returned with new impressions that partially deepened and partially replaced the old ones, as well as with new images for which the books have yet to be written.