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feb 27, 2012, 10:56pm

This is the discussion thread for Part 2: The Part About Amalfitano - pages 161 to 228

apr 17, 2012, 9:26am

Hmm I just finished this part and maybe it needs to be seen as part of a whole.. I can spot themes flowing through and obviously the characters links but hmm.. I am at a loss..

Still it has what I thought was an interesting and apt quote:

"He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.”

I should of started with the Savage Detectives :)

apr 18, 2012, 5:55pm

Hmm from me, too: certainly not as engaging or exciting as Part 1. In fact, I don't get the point of it at all, except that it gives some background on Amalfitano, who appeared in Part 1, and emphasizes the disappearance of young women in Santa Teresa. And I suppose his wife's fascination with the mad poet ties in with some of the stuff in Part 1.

I read somewhere (sorry, I don't remember where) that 4 1/2 of the 5 parts were complete at Bolano's death. I wonder if this Part 2, the shortest of the 5, was the 1/2...

apr 19, 2012, 7:53am

I also preferred Part I. I thought Part II was much darker and much less engaging. I'm still quite lost as to where this is all going, and the fact that these Parts are all meant to be stand alone confuses me more. The typical beginning-middle-end structure is totally turned on its head. I haven't started Part III yet, but I'm very curious to see how this all turns out.

apr 19, 2012, 8:29am

I quite liked the beginning to part II I thought his wifes madness suited Bolano's er.. unfocused writing style and then of course it degenerated into his madness and well hmm.. Knowing little about philosophy I didnt get the joke(?) of all those diagrams and as a example of madness well I could of done with less of them..

As to a coherent, engaging story it was a dead loss but I sensing 2666 is more about big themes, allegories etc.. so I am a) probably not the intended reader and b) most of it is going to go over my head.

Still I am also intrigued to read it all, I just want to stand back and view it from a far.

apr 29, 2012, 6:31pm

I'm afraid a lot of part II went over my head. I felt a little better about it when I reached the end of the section. Some of the things that didn't make sense to me finally clicked when I got to the last few pages. The telepathy and the connection of Chilean migrants reminds me of Midnight's Children.

I'm not sure how much to make of the parallels between Amalfitano's and Bolano's lives.

apr 29, 2012, 7:00pm

>6 cbl_tn: Carrie, what clicked for you at the end? I don't think it did for me...

apr 29, 2012, 7:16pm

It was the book he remembered and summarized, O'Higgins Is Araucanian, with its 17 "proofs". It connected some of the bizarre behavior from earlier in the section.

apr 29, 2012, 7:34pm

>8 cbl_tn: Thanks! I'm going to have to go back and look at that again before I start Part 3. It's been a couple of weeks since I finished Part 2, but I don't think I made the connections...

maj 27, 2012, 2:43pm

I am well behind with my 2666 reading and have now finished Part 2. I seem to be in a minority as I preferred Part 2 to Part1..... maybe because of the more simplified approach of less characters and themes to keep track of. The stories continue to lack any cohesive direction/path. I have found it is easier reading if I just allow the story to go where it does and to more or less breeze over the parts - like the philosophy, the diagrams and the telepathy.

The story of Amalfitano's wife Lola was different and I agree it did at least provide for a similarity to the stories contained in Part 1. I wonder if madness is one of the overarching themes to this one? It would appear that obsessions and the lack of what I want to call reasoned judgement crops up again and again in the characters.

I am still finding Bolano's writing style - if not the story itself - to be very fluid and easy to read as I finished Part 2 during my short plane ride home on Friday. I hope to get to Part 3 soon and I am prepared for the fact that it may be either completely different or more of the same.....