Don Colacho’s Aphorisms is the culmination of what began as a small personal project but quickly developed into something much bigger: a translation of nearly all of Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección (Bogotá: Villegas Editores, 2001). Gómez Dávila deserves to be much better known in the English-speaking world than he currently is. The aim of this website is simply to give an idea of what Gómez Dávila accomplished as a writer and thinker.
Don Colacho’s Aphorisms is perhaps best viewed as a stop-gap measure. The translations on this website are entirely unofficial; they are merely intended to fill the need for an English translation of Nicolás Gómez Dávila’s work until an official translation is published.
That said, this website has four main features.
First, the main page of the blog contains many individual aphorisms. Each aphorism is separately numbered in the order in which it appears. (The numbers given to all the aphorisms on this site are also unofficial.) The original Spanish for each aphorism appears in the comments section. Some comments also contain background information on the individual aphorism.
The epigraphs in the left sidebar are also part of Gómez Dávila’s work. These epigraphs are quotations from other authors which Gómez Dávila placed at the beginning of Escolios a un Texto Implícito as a hermeneutical key for his readers. A translation and explanation of these epigraphs can be found here.
Second, the section entitled “Who was Nicolás Gómez Dávila?” contains six pages. It contains a short biography of Gómez Dávila, as well as a brief overview of his thought. (The overview is obviously aimed primarily at an American audience, but it should still be relevant to English speakers from around the world.) The bibliography page contains a list of all the works published by Gómez Dávila, as well as reprints and foreign translations. The final three items are translations of two German reviews and of the introduction to the German edition of Notas.
Third, the section entitled “What did Nicolás Gómez Dávila think about…?” contains pages that gather together aphorisms according to topic. These pages should aid the reader who has only just discovered Gómez Dávila and wants to find out what he had to say about a specific topic.
Fourth, the section entitled “Links” contains only one page, Internet Resources. This page points the curious reader to other websites which contain more information about Gómez Dávila. Because very little has been published about Gómez Dávila in English, this page is probably of the most value to those who can read other languages, especially Spanish and German. If a reader has found a website which he thinks would be of interest to others, he is welcome to leave a link in the comments section.
B. How to Navigate Don Colacho's Aphorisms
There are three ways to read this blog:
First, the reader can go through the aphorisms by topic. That is what the section entitled “What did Nicolás Gómez Dávila think about…?” is for.
Second, the reader can go through each aphorism individually. The English will appear in the main post, and the original Spanish in the comments section. To move from aphorism to aphorism, the reader should click on older post or newer post below each aphorism. The aphorisms are divided into five groups, depending on which book they were originally published in:
Escolios a un Texto Implícito I (1977): #1 - #809
Escolios a un Texto Implícito II (1977): #810 - #1,627
Nuevos Escolios a un Texto Implícito I (1986): #1,628 - #2,110
Nuevos Escolios a un Texto Implícito II (1986): #2,111 - #2,574
Sucesivos Escolios a un Texto Implícito (1992): #2,575 - #2,988
Third, the reader can read aphorisms--English only--in sets of 50. To move from page to page, the reader should scroll to the bottom of the page and click on older posts or newer posts. The aphorisms are divided into five groups, depending on which book they were originally published in:
Escolios a un Texto Implícito I (1977) starts at #1.
Escolios a un Texto Implícito II (1977) starts at #810.
Nuevos Escolios a un Texto Implícito I (1986) starts at #1,628.
Nuevos Escolios a un Texto Implícito II (1986) starts at #2,111.
Sucesivos Escolios a un Texto Implícito starts at #2,575.