Daryl in focusing on what I call Amalfitano’s impotence comes as close as one can to an overview of the man at this point in his life. There is really no macro approach to this part. I believe that it will take more form in our minds as we read further into this novel and look back on it.
I have been exchanging thoughts with others about Marco Antonio Guerra and the voice over in the forums at Las obras de Roberto Bolaño . In that context I hope to discuss Lola’s telepathy, Amalfitano’s bizarre epiphany that he himself is probably telepathic because of the similarity between his mother’s name and the name of Bernardo O’Higgin’s telepathic mother, and all that weirdness. I will not take that up here.
In anticipation of leaving The Part About Amalfitano, I return repeatedly to this reverie:
He imagined himself locked up in an asylum in Santa Teresa or Hermosilla with Professor Pérez as his only occasional visitor, and every so often receiving letters from Rosa in Barcelona, where she would be working or finishing her studies, and where she would meet a Catalan boy, responsible and affectionate, who could fall in love with her and respect her and take care of her and be nice to her and with whom Rosa would end up living and going to the movies at night and traveling to Italy or Greece in July or August, and the scenario didn’t seem so bad. [Emphasis mine.]
Now does this not echo Lola and her poet in that other asylum nicely? Perhaps Amalfitano can learn to blow smoke rings during his commitment, which was the poet’s primary pastime.
I like the man so much that I would prefer that he not get into that Las Suicidas mezcal too seriously. When I consider all the alternatives, it appears to me that his impotence will prevent him from ever leaving Mexico himself. He simply cannot bring himself to take any action now on any front. Of those alternatives I have concluded that the asylum scenario does not seem so bad to me either. . .as long as Rosa does get out of Santa Teresa and back to Barcelona.