Picture with me, for a moment, a hypothetical. You're nearing the end of your life, a fabulously intellectual life. A life people will want to read about (like I said, this is purely a hypothetical). It's rapidly becoming apparent that you're going to have to write about it, since people want to read about it and everything. And say, maybe, you don't like reading diaries. They're boring, occasionally pedantic and inevitably long-winded. You will definitively not be publishing your diary. As a result you contemplate endlessly the options you have to make the story of your life read like something you would actually want to read. Something intellectually stimulating, meditative and infinitely insightful. And, of course, something which will weave together all the fragments of your life you believe to have been vital to its course.
I like to imagine Sergio Pitol's mind followed a train of thought similar, although infinitely more complex, than the one above, as he sat down to write his "Trilogy of Memory," the first book of which, The Art of Flight, was recently published by Dallas' own Deep Vellum Publishing. The publication is remarkably the first time Pitol, a legendary Mexican author, has been translated into English. George Henson, a professor and recent doctoral recipient in the University of Texas at Dallas' translation program, has masterfully rendered Pitol's thoughts and words from his native language into our own.