Saturday, January 24, 2009

2666 -Finished Part Two

Okay, so now I really have no idea.

If anything, Part Two, "The Part About Amalfitano," was even more opaque than Part One. Amalfitano is a professor at the university in Santa Teresa, the border town modeled on Juarez, Mexico, in which much of the book's action is set. This section of the book is notable for its brevity and for its apparent lack of connection to the first part, which was about three European academics who wind up in Mexico looking for a mysterious German writer.

Oscar Amalfitano is a minor character in Part One (so it's not like there's no connection between the two). In Part Two, author Roberto Bolano recounts the story of Amalfitano's failed marriage to the mercurial Lola, who runs off with a girlfriend on a quest to find a poet now confined to a mental institution. Then, we see Amalfitano's life as a single father raising his daughter, Rosa, a pretty teenager. As in Part One, there are references to the murders of young women in Santa Teresa, and a general atmosphere of dread. The theme of violence as a release is revisited through a minor character. All in all, this chapter struck me as bland and I'm still not sure where it's all going. It was the kind of thing where I can follow it from section to section but I don't understand how the pieces fit into the whole.

I started the next section, "The Part About Fate," which I've heard is the weakest part of the book but so far for me is the most engaging.

I'll keep you posted!


Alyce said...

Thanks for posting your reflections! I'll be interested to read how the next section goes for you.

Shana said...

Hmmmmm. Well, this sounds good and bad so far. Overall it sounds like a book I'd like, I guess but your descriptions of it's "aimlessness" make me hesitant. Keep us updated!