Growing up I heard this phrase over and over again. My great grandfather Carlos Dieppa had set the tone for generations to come.
Abuelo Dieppa worked hard, built an empire, and always gave to the people and artists of Barranquilla, Colombia. Many thought of him as a stern man, and certainly from all accounts this could not be denied, however he was a patron of the arts despite being an engineer and not appearing to be artistic in the least.
He supported Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Alejandro Obregon despite a difference in character that resulted in confusion and surprise. He never allowed for disrespect to those different to him or to any social class, which was unusual in his time.
And so it was with Carlos Dieppa, as he empowered many around him, including my mother, encouraging them that nothing was impossible in a time where sex, race, and social divide sent the message that if you were not a white man, you were incapable.
But not to him. And not to us. And so it continues.
- Leo Bersani on Marcel Proust’s Mortuary Aesthetic found in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, one of my favorite books of all time.