. . . but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.

11 February 2010

Repetition, the Tool for Learning

You submit that “hanging around in Mexico . . . has itself the effect of bringing reality inexorably, excitingly, and sometimes even frighteningly closer to a person.” I will swear an oath to the truth of that if you require it, __________. If you hang around Mexico too much, you will find yourself living here for the very reasons you cite. Which brings me to Pelletier, the character with whom I identify the most, although I have come to love Amalfitano.

Pelletier is not only rereading three works by Archimboldi by that pool. He also laboriously studies the newspapers in an effort to figure out what is going on in Santa Teresa. The “reality thing,” as a former American president would put it.

As for Archimboldi's works, Pelletier for the first time admits that he does not entirely understand them. When Espinoza asks if he is preparing to write a paper on those three works, his answer is vague. Pelletier's arrogance is gone.

”Archimboldi is here,” said Pelletier, “and we're here, and this is the closest we'll ever be to him.”

The critics are never going to lead Archimboldi on stage to accept his Nobel Prize after all. But I detect the aroma of contentment in that statement. I am as sure as I can be that Pelletier will never leave Mexico.

You are saying in essence that Espinoza is a simpler case, which is as I see it, too. He has forgotten about Archiboldi's works that are stashed in his suitcase. Espinoza says that he is leaving but swears that he will return within a year. I take him at his word. I could be a fool. That business about maybe marrying Rebeca then and taking her back to Madrid I agree is clearly bullshit, however.

I freely admit that Liz Norton is an enigma to me.

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