Borges, the carousel and Piazzolla
And in 1958, three years after the overthrow of Peron by General Eduardo Lonardi and his named Liberating Revolution, Borges published in a magazine his poem Tango. "Turn in the whole the yellow wheel / of horses and lions, and I hear the echo / of those tangos of Arolas and Greco / that I saw danced on the sidewalk." The wheel of horses and lions is not another symbol than the carousel of Independencia Street, to where Borges went as child wearing shorts. As Arolas and Greco were composers back in the first decade of the twentieth century, is to argue that the old tango is equated with distant childhood.
In 1965, Borges meets Astor Pantaleon Piazzolla, accordeon player, composer and revolutionary genius that since the mid-50s had been causing a phenomenon of urban music. They recorded an album that had as a reciter of verses Luis Medina Castro and the singer Edmundo Rivero, an idol among the tango, also specialist in milonga, slang and folklore. This vinyl, although it may sound as a lie, is virtually impossible to get in Argentina, because for decades it remained outside the catalogs. The development of this work took time and while the Borgesian verses were musicalized by Piazzolla, the composer's first wife, Dede Wolf, sang some milongas in order that Borges listened to the melodies made for his writings.
When finished recording a few months later with the voice of Edmundo Rivero, Borges was invited by Piazzolla to the studio, played him the album and eagerly asked his opinion. The writer, with its distinctive stutter, said it was ok but would rather prefer "as the girl sang." Is to imagine, between laughing, the faces that Rivero and Piazzolla had when listening to this unexpected Argentine genius of literature’s verdict.
He was never a friend of Astor
In his autobiography , Edmundo Rivero recalls that in his first encounter with Borges, he asked with what authority and knowledge he sang the milongas. “I sing them because I understand them and I understand because I have lived them, like you”, replied the gruff voice of the singer. Borges, simply and honestly told him that he had no such luck. "My mother did not want me to go out into the street," said Borges, and I was always behind bars. "
Regarding the link between Borges and Piazzolla, is to ensure that it never became friendship, inter alia, because the writer said publicly of Astor :"I do not want anything to do with this man ... he does not feel native; Rivero does, but he does not. "And a few years after Borges confessed that "One night I was taken to hear a concert of this man ... Piazzolla. And I told my cicerone I wanted to hear tangos but since he has not played just a single one, I go back to the hotel. "What Borges also questioned were the composer’s titles of his works, asserting that they were not of tango.
Other creations of Borges and Piazzolla was vocalized by Amelita Baltar and by thr Brazilian Ney Matogrosso and milongas of Borges also musicalized by Sebastian Piana. Jorge Luis Borges left perfect lyrics as Jacinto Chiclana or Alguien le dice al tango, and there were not Argentine poets who dared to transpose the border between literature and tango and it should be evoked about the recently deceased Ernesto Sabato confessed to the pianist Héctor Stampone, author of The last coffee, that he would have given several pages of his books in exchange for writing a tango like Sur of Homero Manzi and Anibal Troilo.
If Borges had obsessions, one of them is chaired by the lyrics of his milongas: the duels between the malevos "that take up the knife." In one of his stories, The Congress, Borges defined himself to be "a writer who has devoted to the study of ancient languages, as if the current were not enough crude and demagogic exaltation of an imaginary Buenos Aires of cuchilleros (knives users)."