Amulet by Roberto Bolaño

By Roberto Bolaño

A travel de strength, Amulet is a hugely charged first-person, semi-hallucinatory novel that embodies in a single woman's voice the depression and violent contemporary historical past of Latin America.Amulet is a monologue, like Bola?o's acclaimed debut in English, through evening in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan lady who moved to Mexico within the Sixties, turning into the "Mother of Mexican Poetry," putting out with the younger poets within the caf?s and bars of the collage. She's tall, skinny, and blonde, and her favourite younger poet within the Seventies is none except Arturo Belano (Bola?o's fictional stand-in all through his books). in addition to her younger poets, Auxilio remembers 3 extraordinary ladies: the melancholic younger thinker Elena, the exiled Catalan painter Remedios Varo, and Lilian Serpas, a poet who as soon as slept with Che Guevara. And during her imaginary stopover at to the home of Remedios Varo, Auxilio sees an uncanny panorama, one of those chasm. This chasm reappears in a imaginative and prescient on the finish of the e-book: a military of kids is marching towards it, making a song as they cross. the youngsters are the idealistic younger Latin americans who got here to adulthood within the '70s, and the final phrases of the radical are: "And that music is our amulet."

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Perhaps her eyelids were swollen. Perhaps her whole face was swollen, as if she were taking cortisone. But no. The evidence was there before my eyes: she was the same as ever. We spent the evening and that whole night together. Starting in the cafeteria as it gradually emptied of students and professors, leaving only us in the end, and the cleaning lady, and the very nice, very sad middle-aged man behind the bar. that cafeteria was whispering to me, begging me to stay until the end and read a poem by Rimbaud, it was a cafeteria to weep for) and we got into her car and when we had already driven a fair way she said she was going to introduce me to an extraordinary guy, that's what she said, He's extraordinary, Auxilio, I want to you meet him and give me your opinion, although I realized straight away that my opinion wouldn't matter to her in the least.

And from time to time, I threw in an exclamation, over the shoulders of the students, which was like adding a little silence to the silence. And then at some point in that scene, which must have really occurred, I can't have dreamed it, Professor López Azcárate opened his mouth. He opened his mouth as if gasping for air, as if that faculty corridor had been suddenly sucked into an unknown dimension, and said something about the Art of Love, by Ovid, something that took Bonifaz Nuño by surprise and seemed to intrigue Monterroso, but the young poets or students didn't understand it, me neither, and then López Azcárate turned red, as if he simply couldn't bear the suffocation any longer, and a few tears, just a few, four or six, rolled down his cheeks and hung from his mustache, a black mustache that was beginning to go white at the tips and in the middle, a look that always struck me as curious in the extreme, like a zebra or something, a black mustache that was, in any case, incongruous, crying out for a razor blade or a pair of scissors, and if you looked López Azcárate in the face for long enough it became blindingly obvious that this mustache was an anomaly (and a voluntary one), and that a man with such an anomaly on his face was bound to come to a bad end.

There's Auxilio, said the poets, and there I was, sitting at the table of a novelist with delirium tremens, or of a suicidal journalist, laughing and talking, whispering and gossiping, and no one could say: I have seen the wounded mouth of the woman from Uruguay, I have seen the bare gums of the only person who stayed in the university when it was occupied by the riot police in September 1968. They could say: Auxilio talks like a conspirator, bending close and covering her mouth. They could say: Auxilio looks you in the eyes when she speaks.

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