A Conjectural Novel

by Salvador Elizondo - English version by Aguillón-Mata

Salvador Elizondo by Paulina Lavista

I’m conceiving all kinds of hypotheses about what is going on with Amalia. Her attitude, specially during the last weeks, is not entirely clear. That is the case, perhaps, because the circumstances and facts that define our everyday life together are still too opaque. I attempt to decipher what is happening in her head; a succession of signs, images, memories that the more they sharpen, the more they lose their shape, their true meaning. I have nothing left but conjectures. I place them before me to be accounted for. They compose the diagram of a necessarily incomprehensible set of facts.

1. Amalia does not understand what happens. 2. She does understand what happens. 3. She doesn’t understand, but pretends to understand what happens. 4. She understands what happens, but pretends not to understand it. 5. She understands what happens, and does not pretend not to understand it. 6. She doesn’t pretend not to understand that what she understands happens. 7. She understands to pretend that that happens. 8. She understands that what happens pretends not to happen. 9. What is understood to pretend to be happening, happens. 10. But she only pretends that what she understands happens as something that happens not to be understood. 11. Because that that happens pretends itself misunderstood by Amalia in order to happen. 12. If it pretends itself understood, it doesn’t occur. 13. For it can only occur if it pretends to be something already happened. 14. And misunderstood. 15. Although only because it has happened can it be understood as something that by not occuring could be understood as what will never occur. 16. Though it merely to be conceived as something impossible to understand could be understood. 17. The point is about something that as a thing that pretends its impossibility to be understood or as a thing that pretends its impossibility of being, is.

From El Grafógrafo, 1972