Amaranth Borsuk uses phrase: “inviting eye and ear” when describing the Quechua language that is being used in a khipu. Although a khipu is an early form of a recording device made of strings and is most definitely not a book like the ones we read today with words and phrases written down I could not help but to look at that phrase and think of books. I believe that all books should be an invitation for the senses and that if it isn’t doing any beckoning of any kind then there is no point of being a book in the first place.
My copy of Maria Negroni’s Night Journey is a beautifully written piece of work about different dreams that Negroni had herself. I was lucky enough to ask her when she visited the SVC campus in early 2019 if any of the dreams had meant anything, to which she responded that they had no meaning and that if they did she did not want to know what the meanings were. I was crushed on the inside, because I believed – and still believe to this day – that her dreams did have some meaning to them. The descriptions held such passion and heartache and loss, which made it seem impossible for me to think the dreams were merely accidental within her subconscious.
Aside from the cover image, the outside of the book is a matte black color that wouldn’t normally beckon someone to rsvp to its invitation. It feels smooth to the touch and sticky in some places where I’ve tried to remove the library stickers. Granted, I purchased this book online as used and I did not steal it from the library myself. Attempting to peel away those stickers was a way for me to establish the book as my own. There’s another sticker in the back telling me this book is from Queens Library and a stamp on the side of the pages that says Jackson Heights. If the two places are at all related to each then I do not know for sure, but something tells me this book has seen a lot of libraries in its past.
The inside pages are split between the same poem on either side – one written in Spanish and one translated into English. It’s like reading the same journey through a different lens. The text is written in what I would call the cool older brother of the comic sans font and it’s quite small, almost as if it’s sucking you further into the pages until it’s just you and the words themselves. The story itself is completely immersive and takes the reader through various dreams that seem unknown, but eerily familiar at the same time. The contents of Negroni’s dreams may not be the same as everyone else’s but the emotion and the feelings behind them are very intuitive. My favorite part about this book would have to be the message written on the first page:
“For Amanda, these dreams with meaning or not meaning at all, With affection, Maria 2019″
The Book by Amaranth Borsuk