Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2666: David Lynch Connection

One reviewer of 2666 has already called it "a love child of David Lynch and Borges."

There is one reference to Lynch which I thought was quite meaningful and revealing. When I read it first I was quite taken aback. Is there really a place like that, I thought. But then I realized it was not any gratuitous reference because Fire Walk with Me is also about the brutal end of a young girl. Moreover I feel Bolano is trying to say something similar about the nature of evil as David Lynch does in Twin Peaks. Bolano's Santa Teresa is somewhat like the "woods" that surround Twin Peaks. Woods as the mysterious source of evil. Evil which is not inside any person but something much more mystical, immanent, something which is, to say, part of the surroundings itself. In Twin Peaks the killer is caught but the mysterious "Bob" remains free and says he will kill again. May be Bolano's Santa Teresa has its own Bob.

Anyway this is the excerpt from the third section of the novel, "The Part About Fate":

The card for the Santa Teresa cybercafe was a deep red, so red that it was hard to read what was printed on it. On the back, in a lighter red, was a map that showed exactly where the cafe was located. He asked the receptionist to translate the name of the place. The clerk laughed and said it was called Fire, Walk With Me.
"It sounds like the title of a David Lynch film," said Fate.
The clerk shrugged and said that all of Mexico was a collage of diverse and wide-ranging homages.
"Every single thing in this country is an homage to everything in the world, even the things that haven't happened yet," he said.
After he told Fate how to get to the cybercafe, they talked for a while about Lynch's films. The clerk had seen all of them. Fate had only seen three or four. According to the clerk, Lynch's greatest achievement was the TV series Twin Peaks.Fate liked the The Elephant Man best, may be because he'd often felt like the elephant man himself, wanting to be like other people but at the same time knowing he was different. When the clerk asked him whether he'd heard that Michael Jackson had bought or tried to buy the skeleton of the elephant man, Fate shrugged and said that Michael Jackson was sick. I don't think so, said the clerk, watching something presumably important that was happening on TV just then.
"In my opinion," he said with his eyes fixed on the TV fate couldn't see, "Michael knows things the rest of us don't."


Madhuri said...

It is nice to see you back. Hope the inability to access blog sites from workplace don't keep you away from this space now.
The parallels you draw between 2666 and Lynch are interesting, especially the woods as a source of evil. But while Lynch's evil stays mysterious, Bolano's extends to several pages in gross detail. I think he overdid the section on crimes and should have stopped much sooner. Perhaps the tediousness made the next section stand out much more.

Alok said...

I am still in the middle of that "Crimes" section. I am finding it hard to get through as well. By Mysteriousness I meant the source of crimes or evil. What I felt was that Bolano was undermining this idea that you can catch the killer and then everything will be back to normal... the killings there seemed part of landscape or the way of being in santa teresa itself. Some kind of unending mystical cycle.

Cheshire Cat said...

"Woods as the mysterious source of evil" - "Antichrist"?

Alok said...

you saw it already? Have heard that it is the worst film of the year or things like that. I am naturally quite curious.

Cheshire Cat said...

Occasionally, the so-called "worst film of the year" just isn't very good...

It's very disturbing, that's all that can be said for it. On the other hand, of most films, one can say nothing at all.

Sinh said...

I liked 2666 but my favorite by Bolano is Antwerp! Wonder if you have read it?