. . . 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.

08 February 2010


I have not forgotten about your long standing questions concerning Oscar Fate, __________. Let me see if I can keep my word count under control in this one.

1. How does the death of his mother affect his attitude and actions?

In the beginning we read, . . .maybe it all began with his mother's death. It strikes me that his mother's death simply marks the end forever of the world of Quincy Williams, a mundane world. After that event he never refers to himself nor is he ever referred to by anyone else as Quincy Williams again. After that, Oscar Fate is no longer simply a nickname at the office. He enters a new world becoming a different person named Oscar Fate. The gateway to this new world is the news that the “chief boxing correspondent” was stabbed and killed.

2. How can/should we interpret his continual vomiting?

This damned thing looms up bigger than it really is for some reason, I think. It did for me anyway.

I was sure that he had vomited at some point while in Santa Teresa, but as near as I can tell now, all he did was complain of stomach trouble on the drive from Tucson to the border. He may have had stomach problems when Chucho asks him if he feels all right in the parking lot. His stomach hurts while he waits for Rosa to go to the restroom after wiping that pistol clean and disposing of it.

He actually vomits the first time before Mexico has even crossed his mind just after his mother's funeral. He vomits the second time in Seaman's bathroom right after arriving, again before his editor tells him he is going to Mexico.

Therefore, I think that we should regard the vomiting as simply a premonition of things to come. Or perhaps he is vomiting up whatever remains inside him of Quincy Williams.

Have I missed a heave somewhere?

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