Peter Takacs

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Peter Takacs

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Peter Takacs - Interview Transcription

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Robin Su


Peter Takacs


Oberlin College


When I heard that Ana [Cara] had invited Jorge Luis Borges to come, I was really... well, it's like seeing an icon. So it was very thrilling. And I don't speak Spanish that, so was a bit of a problem for me [when I went to] this dinner at Ana's house. On the appointed evening, we all got together. It was Sam and Ana and Olga and myself. There was general conversation, a lot of it in Spanish, but I was just star struck, I remember the atmosphere was very hushed, you know, everyone was kind of in a trance about him. I don't know why he had that kind of impact on people. I mean, obviously his work was extraordinary. There's something very mystical about a blind person…It seems like they see something internally that they don't see externally. His appearance was very prophetic.

I believe there was a fire [at the dinner], because I remember him saying "this is quite uncanny." Maybe he felt the warmth...I may be wrong...but I remember the word "uncanny," which is a great word. He was very soft-spoken and gentlemanly, a great Latin gentleman.

Ana asked me to play something, and I played a Beethoven sonata for him. It was opus 27 no. 1, which is the sonata that comes before the Moonlight [Sonata], it's a fantasy-type piece with themes that reoccur that are reminiscent of the beginning. And he was very attentive. He was tired also, it was a bit of a long piece, it was 15 minutes on an upright piano, which was not a concert instrument, but it was kind of a nice part of the evening. I think he was a music lover, [for after I played] he said, "that was very lovely," in English; that was very nice to hear.

[It was all] very mystical. There have been a few events like [his visit] at Oberlin that usually involve somebody who has made a great mark on the outside world, including Toni Morrison... the same kind of gravitas, a weight because they have achieved something "uncanny."


“Peter Takacs,” The Five Colleges of Ohio Digital Exhibitions, accessed June 19, 2024,