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

Reading Guide to Fuentes #1

The Death of Artemio Cruz

  1. 3 "I wake up... The touch of that cold object . . . I could urinate without being aware . . . I keep my eyes shut."
    a. Status of Artemio Cruz
  2. 3 "That's what I am"
    a. What sort of reflection is this in the mirror?
    b. Is the self unitary or fragmented?
         i. Narrative implications
  3. 3 "I am that eye [that "I"?] furrowed by accumulated rage..."
  4. 4 "Look, Doctor, he's just faking... (. . .) Even now in the hour of his death he has to trick us."
  5. 5 "I ask, ask that my face and my body be given back to me."
    a. The self as "face" and "body"
  6. 6 "That morning I waited for him with pleasure. We crossed the river on horseback. (. . .) I'd like to go back there, Catalina. How useless."
    a. A memory? If so, what does it evoke?
  7. 6 "I survived. Regina, it hurts, Regina, I realize that it hurts."
    a. What hurts?
    a. First Person Narrative: A self-exalting "I"
    b. Second Person Narrative: Part of him and yet outside him: the conscience or superego.
    c. Third Person Narrative: A more detached aspect form of the self that is also capable of seeing others.
  9. 7 "His twin. Artemio Cruz. His double." ??
  10. 7 A date: April 9, 1959
  11. 8 An age: 71 : and a year of birth: 1888
  12. 8 The paradox of fear in the airplane.
  13. 8 A short anatomy of profit.
  14. 9-10 A detailed map of riches
    a. A 1959 $1 million would roughly be a 1997 $6 million
  15. 10 "The reflected twin will join the other" ??
  16. 11 "You will remember the half you left behind: destiny will find you . . . if you could find it again at the end."
  17. 13 A look at Father, Mother, and Daughter.
  18. 19 A deal with the gringos
  19. 22 "What useless affection, Catalina."
    a. The married life.
  20. 23 A repetition: "That morning I waited for him with pleasure. We crossed the river on horseback."
    a. Why does this memory return?
  21. 24 Artemio, the priest, and the founding myth of Christianity
  22. 25 Is to remember to die a little?
  23. 26-27 Artemio Cruz and Octavio Paz's concept of malinchismo
    a. Loving the enemy to death.
  24. 27 A comparison from difference: "Never have you been able to think in black and white, good guys v. bad guys, God or the Devil..."
  25. 28 Uniting opposites: "You yourself will block oblivion..."
    a. Joining desire and destiny.
  26. 32 Don Gamaliel Bernal's knowledge.
    a. His passivity v. Artemio's action
  27. 32 Don Gamaliel's mask
  28. 36-37 Survival
    a. An agreement between "gentlemen"
  29. 39-41 A worthy minister of the Church
  30. 44-45 The new world and the new man: Artemio Cruz
  31. 47-48 Catalina's resolve
  32. 49 Another love story
  33. 51 A repetition: "That morning I waited for him with pleasure. We crossed the river on horseback."
  34. 52 A man and his newspaper
  35. 56-57 Chaos, order, and survival
    a. Memory is satisfied desire
    b. Survival through memory
  36. 57 Regina and Artemio
  37. 60 An encounter by the sea
  38. 64 A young Artemio remembers where he comes from and why he fights.
  39. 65 What "reflected image of fiction" is this?
  40. 67 An epiphany of fear
  41. 68 "there was an unbridgeable gap"
  42. 69 A double appears
  43. 70 "He wanted to see his reflection..."
  44. 71 The double dies
  45. 72 The traitor and the hero: "Damnit, Lieutenant..."
    a. "The thread was broken..."
  46. 72-73 Major Gavilán: a witness to Artemio Cruz's "bravery"
  47. 75 Regina: "swaying in the wind.."
  48. 76-77 The mythical beach of fiction:
    a. Regina at the beach and/or the officer's quarters
  49. 78 The traitor and the hero: "It was no longer the horse of a wounded man"
  50. 79 The toll of survival
  51. 79-80 Artemio's views on pride
  52. 82 A repetition: "That morning I waited for him with pleasure. We crossed the river on horseback."
  53. 82 Artemio's view of Christian mythology
  54. 85 Catalina's gesture
  55. 86 "You will survive, Artemio Cruz, you will survive because you will expose yourself to the risk of freedom."
  56. 86 What is necessary for survival?
    a. Exposing oneself to the risk freedom
    b. virtue
    c. pride
    d. humility