December 9, 2010


An obscurantist canon of the old metropolitan chapter of Santa Fe, a brusque church lady from Bogotá, an uncouth cattle rancher from the savanna, we are of the same ilk.
With my current compatriots I share only my passport.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 385


  1. The original Spanish is:

    Canónigo obscurantista del viejo capítulo metropolitano de Santa Fe, agria beata bogotana, rudo hacendado sabanero, somos de la misma ralea.
    Con mis actuales compatriotas sólo comparto pasaporte.

  2. This aphorism refers to Gómez Dávila's Colombian roots.

    "The metropolitan chapter of Santa Fe" refers not to the capital of New Mexico, but rather to the cathedral in Bogotá; the old colonial name for Bogotá was Santa Fe de Bogotá.

    The savanna mentioned here is the region around Bogotá. Although Gómez Dávila spent most of his adult life in Bogotá, he was actually born in Cajicá, and his family owned the Hacienda Canoas Gómez (an estate or ranch) near Soacha. (A picture of the house and a picture of Gómez Dávila at the estate can be found here.)

    An hacendado is simply someone who owns an hacienda, though in the Americas it often means specifically someone raises cattle.