Week 8: Dreams

by Daryl L.L. Houston

422: In spite of a keen awareness of their differences, order Juan de Dios Martinez has peaceful, sildenafil happy dreams of Elvira Campos and himself living together in a rustic cabin in the mountains. They slept on a bearskin with a wolfskin covering them, and she sometimes laughed and ran into the woods. I’m reminded of Pelletier’s domestic dreams of Norton, in which she too is on the periphery. At least in Martinez’s dream, he has interactions with Campos that precede her receding to the margins.

434: Here and elsewhere, La Santa has visions. They’re not strictly speaking dreams, but it seems a similar type of experience.

447: Harry Magaña dreams of a street in Huntsville pounded by a sandstorm. He ignores pleas for help rescuing some girls at a bead factory and keeps his nose in a file containing photocopied documents written in “a language not of this world.” There are several similar things among the critics’ dreams.

456: La Santa sometimes dreams she’s a country schoolteacher at a hilltop school from which she watches girls on their way to class. Beyond, peasants make fruitful agrarian use of the land. Though they’re in the distance, she can hear their words clearly, and the words are unchanging from day to day. Here I’m reminded of Espinoza’s dream of the painting in his hotel room. Then: “There were dreams in which everything fit together and other dreams in which nothing fit and the world was like a creaky coffin.”

459: La Santa equates her visions with dreams. They keep her awake. In actual dreams, she sees the crimes as if they’re an exploded television set, and she sees various horrible scenes in the shards scattered around her bedroom.

Here’s a question: Is Florita something of a narrator of this section? It is a fragmented portion of the book, many of the murders ghastly reflections or maybe refractions of others. Paired with the ventriloquist as she is in this week’s reading, perhaps we’re to take her as an adopted voice or instrument through which many of the scenes unfold. Maybe we’re seeing the scenes as she sees them in her visions. I doubt this is the intention, really, as the stories are told mostly from a pretty straightforward, detached-narrative point of view (I also happen to know what Bolaño said about who narrates the book), but it’s an interesting thing to ponder.


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One Response to “Week 8: Dreams”


  • Comment from David Winn

    Daryl: Coincidentally, my post for this week ( http://bit.ly/9AqT2K ) also speculates about the identity of the narrator, so I couldn’t resist following up on your tantalizing comment about Bolaño’s revelation of just who it is. On the one hand, if Bolaño is right (and he ought to know) then we are both wrong, but on the other hand there is more than one narrative voice in this section, and if some alter ego is the underlying (fictional) narrator, then presumably he’s also a) drawing the world outside the text into the novel and b) acting as ventriloquist for the characters. So, we could both just as easily be right.


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