Week 3: Locations

by Michael Cooler

Deaths in the last section of The Part About The Critics (pages 102 – 159):

No actual “deaths” but references to the murders in Mexico.

p. 137 – “Then Espinoza remembered that the night before, doctor one of the boys had told them the story of the women who were being killed. All he remembered was that the boy had said there were more than two hundred of them and he’d had to repeat it two or three times because neither Espinoza nor Pelletier could believe his ears.”

“From 1993 or 1994 to the present day…And many more women might have been killed. Maybe two hundred and fifty or three hundred.”

This is information that the critics were not aware of.  Bolaño has presented the critics as fairly insular up to this point, and finally they are getting a glimpse of the world around them. Espinoza reacts to the news by throwing up in a bathroom stall, while an ominous voice soothes Espinoza.  What are we to make of this?  To Espinoza, the voice seems like a comfort, but there is also something sinister in the voice that says “That’s all right, buddy, go ahead and puke.”  Almost as if the next thing this voice might say is, “And then step out of the stall and I’ll cut your throat.”  But Espinoza is still so privileged or fortunate that he does not detect an evil tone in the voice he hears.

p. 151 “As they drank Cuba libres, Rebeca told him that two of the girls who later showed up dead had been kidnapped on their way out of the club. Their bodies were dumped in the desert.” Espinoza gets unknowingly close to death with Rebeca at the dance club.  Here Bolaño further places the aloof character of Espinoza in close proximity to real and dangerous violence.  Espinoza and Pelletier have been safe in their upscale hotel, but now Espinoza is brushing cheeks with the death that exists in Santa Teresa (although as a wealthy person he will escape Santa Teresa as Rebeca and the women of the city cannot).
by Sara Corona Goldstein

Berlin – El Cerdo is introduced to Mrs. Bubis here at a “cultural charreada.” (p. 102)

Santa Teresa (near Hermosillo), tadalafil
Mexico
– according to El Cerdo, online
Achimboldi flies here after their night in Mexico City. (p. 104)

Stevenson’s grave in Samoa – Marcel Schwob travels here in 1901 with his manservant, Ting, and nearly dies of pneumonia (the reason Morini cites for not traveling with the other three to Mexico). (p. 106)

Mexico City – Pelletier, Espinoza, and Norton travel here together and spend a night in the hotel where El Cerdo met Archimboldi. (p. 107)

Hermosillo, Mexico – the three critics fly here from Mexico City and drive through Sonora to Santa Teresa. (p. 110)

Hotel México, Santa Teresa, Mexico – the three critics stay here while searching for Archimboldi (p. 111); this is also where they first meet Amalfitano. (p. 114)

Tucson, Arizona – Pelletier and Espinoza drive Norton here for her flight back to London. (p. 135)

A ravine near Montreux, Switzerland – Edwin Johns dies here, accidentally. (p. 150)

Turin, Italy – Norton goes to stay with Morini. (p. 152)


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