A notable philosopher was visiting the University and he had arranged a few conferences and discussion groups. These visits were a way for these invitees to defer to us, the students, and allowed us to maintain a more direct contact with them. My friend was very pleased because he understood the philosopher to be Kantian. He bought a recorder so as not to lose one single detail of his comments. He also arranged things so that he could spend all his time with him. I was able to see them together at one of those discussion groups. Regarding the latter, I don't remember anything that was important to me since, simply said, I was not able to understand what it was that was being fought over in the field of epistemology.

That evening my friend was deeply disappointed. He told me, as if he had not yet got round to believing it, that things had not happened as he expected.

"That philosopher is Aristotelian not Kantian!" he explained, somewhat troubled.

For him it was a true disappointment. I don't know if it has anything to do with this narration but a few days later I saw him totally absorbed, studying Metaphysics by Aristotle published in a special edition.


The conditions that I previously mentioned under which Jimmy communicated with me were very singular and also very striking. Even in the abstract, one could say that Jimmy was a very special character and that many would have liked to be acquainted with him even if it were only for a short period of time. He was one of that class of people that one could not forget; a personality with heart; pure life and optimism. That is what held sway in him and how one can best define him. It was difficult to maintain, or even consider, a pessimistic view of things in his presence. That was one edge of the sword.

My friend was different, much more serious and thoughtful. He might even be considered to be more responsible. His way of speaking, of looking, of laughing, of moving were completely different. If you get a full sense of what I'm explaining, you will believe me when I say that it was instantly apparent, without a shadow of doubt, who lived in the body of my friend at any given moment.

Jimmy could use his body at will. One tenth of a second and the one who was talking to me was Jimmy and, nevertheless, I instantly noticed the change. It was not a medium-like experience or anything like it. I would not have allowed anything so coarse. That was not the type of relationship that we had.

Jimmy could spend an entire afternoon with me strolling, taking a bus, talking to me about things that I needed to know. These were always very special and fun moments. Jimmy's personality was so unique, so unbounded, and his presence was so obvious, so evident that I never had any doubt that it was a different personality in my friend's body. And I don't believe that anyone in my position would have had any doubts on the subject.

Jimmy boasted about being able to pass as my friend in front of others, though he did not do so very often. In general he was not very communicative on the few occasions when a third-party was present. He always appeared to me to be a bad actor, though I recognize that I thought that to annoy him. In life he was a man carrying a great sentimental weight and there is no doubt that if he had lived longer, those feelings, once absorbed into his acting work, would have taken him far.

The other edge of the sword, or alternatively the other characteristic feature of his personality, was the extraordinary courage that appeared to encompass him completely. I have already mentioned that he was a heartfelt individual and his behavior must be understood on those terms.

When facing him one had the sensation of being in front of somebody without limits. I can state with certainty that it is not something totally pleasant, since under those circumstances one's own egoism and fear are very present. Many people are said to reason that in this life very few things are truly necessary and that there is a surplus of a lot of others. This was not theory for Jimmy but pure practice. Jimmy personally was that. It was impossible to be with him and not end up living like that in one's own reality.