Jorge Luis Borges
In all the world, one man has been born, one man has died.
To insist otherwise is nothing more than statistics, an impossible extension.
No less impossible than bracketing the smell of rain with your dream of two nights ago.
That man is Ulysses, Abel, Cain, the first to make constellations of the stars, to build the first pyramid, the man who contrived the hexagrams of the Book of Changes, the smith who engraved runes on the sword of Hengist, Einar Tamberskelver the archer, Luis de Leon, the bookseller who fathered Samuel Johnson, Voltaire’s gardener, Darwin aboard the Beagle, a jew in the death chamber, and, in time, you and I.
One man alone has died at Troy, at Metaurus, at Hastings, at Austerlitz, at Trafalgar, at Gettysburg.
One man alone has died in hospitals, in boats, in painful solitude, in the rooms of habit and of love.
One man alone has looked on the enormity of dawn.
One man alone has felt on his tongue the fresh quenching of water, the flavour of fruits and of flesh.
I speak of the unique, the single man, he who is always alone.