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 heritage of Latin America.Amulet is a monologue, like Bola?o's acclaimed debut in English, by way of evening in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan lady who moved to Mexico within the Nineteen 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 Nineteen Seventies is none except Arturo Belano (Bola?o's fictional stand-in all through his books). in addition to her younger poets, Auxilio recollects 3 outstanding girls: 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 booklet: a military of kids is marching towards it, making a song as they pass. the youngsters are the idealistic younger Latin americans who got here to adulthood within the '70s, and the final phrases of the unconventional are: "And that tune is our amulet."

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Sample text

I don't know, she said, looking like a lonely little Mexican girl, and in that face I thought I saw a gleam or a pang that I had seen before, and I knew it wasn't a sign of good things to come. Nothing good ever comes of love. What comes of love is always something better. But better can sometimes mean worse, if you're a woman, if you live on this continent, hit upon unhappily by the Spaniards, inopportunely populated by Asians gone astray. That's what I thought, shut up in the women's bathroom on the fourth floor of the faculty of Philosophy and Literature in September 1968.

From time to time I feel as though my books and figurines were with me still. But how could they be? Are they somehow floating around me or over my head? Have the figurines and books that I lost over the years dissolved into the air of Mexico City? Have they become part of the ash that blows through the city from north to south and from east to west? Perhaps. The dark night of the soul advances through the streets of Mexico City sweeping all before it. And now it is rare to hear singing, where once everything was a song.

Sometimes I dreamed of her and saw her limping through the boundless campus of the UNAM. Sometimes I peered out of my window in the women's bathroom on the fourth floor and saw her approaching the faculty building amid a whirl of transparent forms. Sometimes I fell asleep on the tiled floor and heard her steps coming up the stairs, as if she were coming to rescue me, coming to say sorry for having taken so long. And I opened my mouth, half dead or half asleep, and said, Chido, Elena, quite uncharacteristically using that awful Mexican slang word for great.

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