FL 380: Modern Latin American Prose Fiction: An Archaeology of the "Boom"

  1. Operatic musical theme that repeats itself.
  2. stratagem: labyrinth
  3. a spider's web
  4. grandson
  5. Resemblance "iguale iguale!": Borgesian theme: the repetition of a destiny.
  6. Universality vs. particularism (Human experience vs. Ireland and Italy)
  7. Architectural takes: labyrinthine -gallery, streets, piazzas, forests...
    The directions given by the old men at the beginning of the film also strengthen this notion.
  8. Names:
    Athos Magnani: Comic note: 3 Musketeers: giving the game up.
    Draifa: Alfred Dreyfus case (1859-1935): Alsatian Jew accused of wrongly treason by the French Army in 1894. He was tried, found guilty and sent to the Devil's Island. By 1896 it became evident that the real traitor had been an "honorable" man Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. Rightists, Catholic and Military elements found it unpalatable and inconvenient to undo the damage. Esterhazy was tried but acquitted in minutes. The scandal that ensued polarized public opinion. It was learned that much of the evidence used against Dreyfus had been fabricated by the army's chief of intelligence. Unable to admit their fallibility the court re-tried Dreyfus but found him guilty and sentenced him to ten years. However, a presidential pardon was issued. In 1906 the Supreme Court exonerated Dreyfus. In 1930 the papers of the German spy that had been Esterhazy's contact were published. As Athos Magnani had said: "It is not truth that is important but its consequences".
  9. The Theater vs. the Opera:
    Verdi (1813-1901): an ardent nationalist, Verdi was himself associated with the Italian Struggle for Independence. The death of the poet and patriot Manzoni led him to write his famous Requiem (1874). The author of La forza del destino -pun intended- employed Shakespearean themes in operas such as Macbeth, Othello, and Falstaff.
  10. Mirrors: Abominable as the photographs and flashbacks of Athos Magnani that recur in the film. Remember that Athos saw his murderer in the mirror of the Theater booth at the moment where Rigoletto sung "la maledizione".
  11. The male-female rabbit:
    Can a rabbit be a male rabbit? Latin: CUNICULUS: a rabbit, an underground passage such as a burrow or drain. The rabbit and the burrow are one and the same. As a longstanding female sexual symbol is the rabbit "mascio", "femina" or both?
    Is Athos/Nolan a traitor, a hero, or both?