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

Viewing Guide to Orson Welles's Citizen Kane

Carlos Fuentes's: The Death of Artemio Cruz

Citizen Kane A
-No Trespassing
-Rosebud/Crystal Ball

Citizen Cruz A
-"I think it will be fun"

Citizen Kane B
-Newsreel account: Movie within the movie:
-Xanadu: Unfinished artificial paradise
-Its wealth "can never be catalogued".
-Kane/Noah's zoo
-"Largest monument that a man ever built to himself".
-Kane's empire.-Perspectives: A communist, a fascist, an American...
-1895-1941: "All these years he covered, many of these he was".
-World leaders: "He often supported... then denounced".
-2 wives: Emily Norton and Susan Alexander
-The world no longer listened to him

Citizen Cruz B
-Padilla's tapes: Artemio's reputation.
-The novel ant the self as fragmentary texts.
-Ennumeration of wealth.
-Coyoacán: Artemio's empire
-Artemio: Revolutionary hero, coward, agrarian reformer, crook, loving father... a Mexican...
-1913-1959: From the Mexican Revolution to the 20 years of social peace.
-Artemio, the Mexican ruling class, and the American ambassador.
-2 principal female partners: Catalina & Lilia (+ Regina and Laura)
-"Open the window...": Does anyone -but the reader- listen to him anymore?

Citizen Kane C
-Thompson's mission: 70 years of a man's being
-"It isn't enough to tell us what a man did; you have to tell us what he was".
-Rosebud: The last words of a dying man may tell us who he was...
-"Get in touch with everybody... Those who loved him and those who hated him".

Citizen Cruz C
-Artemio's confession: 71 years of being...
-The "I": What he is.
-The "You": What he would have liked to be.
-The "He": What he did.
-What are Artemio's dying words?
-We are put in touch with: Regina, Catalina, Gamaliel, Bernal, Lorenzo, Laura...

Citizen Kane D1
-Miss Susan Alexander

Citizen Cruz D1
-An encounter... to be continued

Citizen Kane D2
-Thatcher Memorial Library: A text within the text
-1871: Paradise in Colorado
-"The Union forever..."
-To run a newspaper.
-"I just try everything I can think of".
-"You are talking to two people".
-"If I hadn't been a rich man I might have been a great man... I did pretty well under the circumstances".

Citizen Cruz D2
-1913: Paradise in tropical Veracruz
-Separation from Lunero
-To survive: an imperative.
-How many people are housed within Artemio?
-What would have Artemio been: had he not left Veracruz, had he not joined the Revolution, had he not abandoned Bernal, had he not given up on Catalina?

Citizen Kane D3
-"A fellow will remember a lot of things that you wouldn't think he would remember".
-"It wasn't the money he wanted".
-"If the headline is big enough it makes the news big".
-"A document like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and my first report card".
-"You don't expect me to keep any of those promises".
-"The vaudeville tune: " Who is this man?.... What is his name?
-Rosebud: "Maybe that was something he lost".
-Mr. Kane's war: The Spanish American War... without which we would not have had the Panama Canal, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.

Citizen Cruz D3
-Artemio's: Padilla
-"We crossed the river on horseback..."
-What does Artemio remember?
-What did Artemio want?
-Who is Artemio Cruz?
-What did Artemio lose?
-Mr. Cruz's war: The Mexican Revolution... without which Mexico would not have regained control of its oil fields.

Citizen Kane D4
-Memory: "One of the greatest curses ever inflicted on thehuman race".
-"Not that he was brutal... (but) he did brutal things".
-"He never gave himself away... never gave anything away...he'd just leave you a tip".
-"People will think what I tell them to think".
-"He wanted love... he wanted the voters to love him".
-"I was on my way to the Western Manhattan Warehouse in search of my youth... a sentimental journey".
-"You talk about people as if you owned them".
-"You just want to persuade people that you love them so much that they ought to love you back... but on your terms".
-"A toast: "To love on my terms; the only terms anybody ever know, his (her) own".
-"He was disappointed with the world so be built one of his own".

Citizen Cruz D4
-Memory and Desire.
-Was Artemio brutal?
-What did Artemio give of himself?
-Public opinion and Artemio's control of it.
-Was it love what Artemio looked for in vain?
-Restoring the ancient Menchaca estate: a sentimental journey?
-Artemio and the middle classes.
-Artemio and Regina, Catalina, Laura, and Lilia:
- Love on his own terms.
-The world that Artemio built in Coyoacán.

Citizen Kane D5
-Susan Alexander revisited:
-"I'm sort of an authority on what people think".
-Life in Xanadu: a dwarfing scale of luxury.
-"Our home is here..."
-"You never gave anything that I cared about".
-"Whatever I do I do because I love you".
-On feeling sorry for Kane: "Don't you think I do?"

Citizen Cruz D5
-Life in Coyoacán
-Artemio: an authority on what others think and on how they act?

Citizen Kane D6
-Raymond: Witness to Rosebud and the crystal ball

Citizen Cruz D6
-The readers: witnesses to Cruz's struggle as he dies.

Citizen Kane E
-Thompson: "I have been playing with a jigsaw puzzle".
-"He sure liked to collect things".
-"What would it spell if you put it all together?
-Rosebud: "Something he could not get or something he lost".
-"It would not have explained anything".
-"I dont think that any word can explain a man's life".
-Rosebud: A piece of a jigsaw puzzle... a missing piece".

Citizen Cruz E
-Artemio and the reader: both play with jigsaw puzzles.
-What did Artemio collect?
-What would it spell indeed?: Mexico, Solitude, I, You, He...
-Can a person's life ever be explained whether in one or a thousand words?
-There is always a missing piece isn't it?