Wait, is Amalfitano the true detective?

After reading “The Part About The Critics” in five days, I set 2666 aside for the Xmas/New Years so I wouldn’t finish it by MLK day.  But now I’ve picked it back up and am back on schedule, having finished today’s deadline reading (page 195) yesterday.  And just like that, I’m sucked back into this book and fighting the impulse to finish it by/on MLK day.

Canelli, what is going on in drawings 1 through 6?  I would’ve researched it myself, but I was watching NFL this weekend.

Also, what’s going on with all the mirrors?  There’s the metaphor on page 168 that alerted me to this theme:

The guests were waiting for the poet to make his entrance.  They were waiting for him to pick a fight.  Or to defecate in the middle of the living room, on a Turkish carpet like the threadbare carpet from the Thousand and One Nights, a battered carpet that sometimes functioned as a mirror, reflecting all of us from below.  I mean: it turned into a mirror at the command of our spasms.  Neurochemical spasms.  When the poet showed up, though, nothing happened.

Then there’s the mirroring of Lola’s hunt for the poet in the asylum, Amalfitano’s hunt for the memory of why he has that geometry book and who Rafael Dieste is, and the critics’ hunt for Archimboldi.  I’m sure I’m missing some other mirror metaphor/technique/theme somewhere else in these 36 pages.

Also, knowing that this book will eventually center around the disappearance and brutal murders of hundreds of women, am I the only one who gets antsy any time a female character goes off somewhere on her own?  Norton, Rebeca, Lola, Imma, Rose.

It’s interesting to me that we’re given all these characters searching for obscure or obscured writers and poets.  They’re all detectives searching for a missing person, but the person isn’t really missing.  They’re just off living their hidden lives.  So these detectives are just sniffing around as though they’re looking for a crime that may not even exist.

Or, at least, not until we get to “The Part About The Crimes.”

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