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Greta, Ginger, Fred

Once again, ORbits offers you the opportunity to test your knowledge of all things literary. In commemoration of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, which began on 20 November, this week’s passage comes from a diverse collection of short stories written by an experimental Mexican author:

At nightfall, [he] went out for a walk. A desire both determining and difficult led him to Avenida Álvaro Obregón and the place where the luxurious movie house Balmori had once been located.

Now it was an empty lot where metal ruins stood. Twilight birds flew over the site as if looking for a nest in memories of yesterday. Greta Garbo. That unrepeatable smell of celluloid, sticky muégano candy, melting chocolates, programs made of pink-coloured paper, sounds like a bird’s wings. That first touch of hands watching Fred and Ginger dance against a background of snow falling in Manhattan. Greta, Ginger, Fred. As he looked at the ruined theatre, [he] felt that the models we admire and pursue come out of ourselves. They are not imposed on us. We invent them, and they magically, gracefully appear on a white screen. Except they are our own shadows transformed into light. They are our most satisfactory portrait. They remain young even in death.

“I wander the streets like a ghost. I’ve left my image in a ruined movie house. Come and acknowledge it if you dare. I’ve lost everything but the memory of you. I no longer have a body. What I have is the desire to see you again, to talk to you again.

The answer to last week’s challenge was Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain.

This week’s answer, and another challenge, on ORbits next week.