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

Reading Guide to Fuentes #3
The Death of Artemio Cruz

  1. 201-211 Laura
    a. Recalling Paris
    b. 204 On Paris as a metaphor: "this city, where objects taken separately or examined in detail might not be beautiful but are irresistible taken as a whole"
    c. Remembering New York
    d. 205 A phone call: Catalina
    e. 207 A quote: Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681) Life is a Dream:"Is there not to be pleasure someday?..."
    f. 209 On painting/photography as a metaphor: "She said there was always something left out of the picture, because the world represented in the picture should be extended, go beyond
    it. . ."
    g. 209 "Sometimes generosity is the worst insult, and not generous at all. Don't you think so?"
    h. 210 "Appearances? Or is it just fear?"
  2. 211-212 Artemio's death: pain, blood, gases, and vomit.
  3. 212 "Didn't he kill Lorenzo, didn't he . . .?"
  4. 213 Catalina's hesitant gesture: "Could it be love?"
  5. 215 A time marker: "This morning... No, two hours ago . . ."
  6. 215 The son and his memory: "where should I take him, where, so he doesn't get away. . .?
  7. 216 Quetzalcoatl?: "The boy's raised arm will point east, where the sun came up..."
  8. 217 Ancestral lands: Cocuya in the state of Veracruz: "You will not be mistaken in bringing Lorenzo to Cocuya from the time he is twelve..."
  9. 219 The Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939: "Wouldn't you have done the same thing?"
  10. 219 A life lived again: "one day that is more yours than any other because it will be the only one on which someone will live fore you"
  11. 219-233 Lorenzo in Spain
    a. 229 Miguel: "He said his greatest sorrow, the one he'd carry to his grave, was that all the workers of the world had not taken arms to defend Spain, because if Spain lost, it was as if all of them lost."
    b. 231: Lorenzo' letter: "I remember you and I think you wouldn't be ashamed..."
    c. 232: A death by the French border.
  12. 233 Lorenzo's life & death v. Artemio's desire & frustration: "I would tell my self that it wasn't enough (. . .) to finish off my other fate..."
  13. 234 The worst: "not being able to remember him . . ."
  14. 235 "Oh, thank you for showing me what my life could be . . ."
  15. 237 Artemio's death: pain, blood, gases, vomit, and excrement.
  16. 237-238 The roads not taken: "You will read and you will choose again: you will choose another life."
  17. 242-262 New Year's Eve at Coyoacán: In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / an earthly pleasure dome decree..."
    a. 244 Coyoacán as a "simulacrum"
    b. 245-246 A bored young woman: Lilia
    c. 248-249 A slap in the face
    d. 251-252 The perverse enjoyment that a God may experience upon contemplating her/his creatures dance about: "But they're all there, in the court . . . before the most powerful"
    e. 253-254 The Plague
    f. 255-258 The elite and its catalogue of concerns: religion, power, money, class, politics, affairs, business deals, trendy art, superficial sophistication, relations, fashion, gossip, national self-deprecation, cynicism.
  18. 262 Artemio's state worsens: a trip to the hospital
  19. 263 A bestowal: "I'll leave you my testament. . . I'll bequeath you those dead names . . . Regina . . . Tobías . . . Páez . . . Gonzalo . . . Zagal . . . Laura, Laura . . . Lorenzo . . . so you won't forget me..."
  20. 266 An appeal to reason/Reason: "Brain, don't die..."
  21. 266-268 Mexico: The country - the land of Artemio Cruz: "You will inherit the land."
  22. 268 Artemio's warning: "fear the false calm you bequeath them. . ."
  23. 268 "They will accept your testament . . ."
  24. 269-270 Artemio's bequeath: the useless deaths, the country, the thieving leaders
    a. "Your people. Your death. (. . .) Your land."
  25. 272- A family saga: Lunero, Master Pedrito, Ludivinia, the Indian Baracoa, Ireneo Menchaca, Atanasio...
  26. 290 A prophetic request: "Lunero, I want to go into the big house"
  27. 291-293: In the beginning of the Menchaca lineage: A prophetic death: a sacrifice? an act of cowardice? a hero and a traitor?: Atanasio and Pedro Menchaca
  28. 296 In the beginning of the Cruz saga there was a rage, enemies, and separation:
    a. There was also a death and a sacrifice: Master Pedrito's death.
  29. 300 A boy in flight and the universe:
    a. 300 "Liberated from the fatality..."
    b. 302 "You will contemplate the sleeping earth..."
    c. 303 The light of dead stars above...
    d. 304 "Time that will exist only in the reconstruction of isolated memory, in the flight of isolated desire..."
    e. 304 "to fill time, execute the steps and gestures of a macabre game in which life will advance as life dies; a dance of madness..."
    f. 305 A shout, a shot, and a thirteen years old boy alone
  30. 306 Isabel Cruz: Lunero's sister.
  31. 307 "I carried you within and I shall die with you . . . all three. . . We shall die . . . You . . . are dying . . . have died . . . I shall die"