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"Listening to what influences us"

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  • "Listening to what influences us"

    I became curious about some of the references in the "As set forth" paragraph of "AtLoM"--they show up later in the story proper as puns or as oblique details or, possibly, references to the story's larger themes. So, here are a couple of things I found. I will be adding more; I hope others will join in the fun.

    This link leads you to a background article on Hawker Hunters--as an added bonus, the image shows a plane in the Chilean Air Force.

    And a couple of associations with February 13: On that date in 1910, William Schockley--co-inventor of the transistor and advocate of eugenics--was born.

    And on that date in 1633: Galileo arrives in Rome to be tried by the Pope for heresy.

  • #2
    Could the 'matter of Mapuche cosmology' recalled by 'Elena Huidobro' be something to do with the following...?

    Françisca is named 'Yepun' after the 'evening star', the 'night-bearer' in the Mapuche language (Yeln=to carry; Pun=night). The evening star is of course Venus (as is the morning star, Lucifer: 'day-bearer' in Latin). There's a link here with the Chilean myth of La Pincoya, 'a blonde nymph who was said to emerge from the sea at sunrise...' In the Greco-Roman tradition, Aphrodite-Venus was supposed to have been born of the sea (nowadays everyone knows this from Botticelli, of course) - because her name in Greek puns amusingly on 'aphros', which means both spume and sperm. So there's a definite link between Françisca and the mythical nymph/Venus.

    Françisca says to Nufro: 'Manage that Musician Boy and you'll carry all the puns of the whole wide' As well as being a play on her Mapuche name (pun=night), this also points to the pun contained in her surname 'de la Viña Escalera'. Quite apart from the fact that 'Escalera' also means 'staircase' (or ladder - a possible connection to another love myth, Diotima's ladder?) the Viña Escalera part phonetically conceals the name 'Venus'. So the word 'love' is written into these pages too.
    Last edited by Raminagrobis; 02-24-2006, 12:27 PM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Raminagrobis
      puns amusingly on 'aphros'
      So you say.

      Anyway, brilliant stuff really, one would think you've been studying classics for years.

      The names are amusing enough. I like how the main translator's role is undermined by his own name (Maldonado or, literally, "bad donation"). And Abel Izquierdo - not the original Abel, we must suppose, who enjoyed being on the right hand of the Lord, but some "sinister" (Italian: sinistra, from the L.) opposite (things of the left persuasion also being generally attributable to Lucifer, eh Grobie?)
      Last edited by modiFIed; 02-23-2006, 05:13 AM.


      • #4
        Here is some information about Villa Grimaldi. Grim, indeed.

        On a much happier note, here is a picture of a man playing a charango:

        And here is some information on Abelian groups that, as near as I can tell, seems applicable to the description of the "As set forth" group.


        • #5
          "Hay que guardar silencio y olvidar" (We must keep silent and forget) is an infamus quote of general Augusto Pinochet.

          "Vals a mi padre" (waltz for my father) and "Ha cesado, la lucha sangrienta" (It has ended, the bloody strugle) both are songs of Inti-Illimani, a chilean folk-song group, who is mentioned in the next paragraph.
          (I'm corrently in the process of getting this songs and also Victor Jara's "La luna es bonita")

          'La nueva canción chilena' is a musical movement in Chile, which spoused conestatary values and lyrics, with Victor Jara and Violeta Parra beign some of it's greater members.

          'A la mar fui por naranjas' (To the sea I went for oranges) is a folk-song from Spain. It also explains the last paragraph reference to swiming and eating oranges.

          Augusto Pinochet took control of the country on September 11, 1973. The Estadio Nacional (National Stadium) was used to held political prisioners. President Allende held his last stand in the Palacio de Moneda. Victor Jara was killed during the coup, after being tortured for five days, his tounge, hands and eyes were removed.


          • #6
            Nothing to do with the prefatory paragraph, but I thought I'd just point some things out (in case anybody didn't pick up on them; I'm sure many did) about the 'Latinate implications [of Eror], especially in the light of the quantum subject matter'.

            erro, as you know, means 'I err/wander'; error is the noun. ero means 'I shall be'. Sticking an 'r' on the end of a first person indicative verb in Latin generally yields a passive. So the superscript 'r' makes the difference between active and passive (although of course there is no passive form of the verb esse). What else? Taking the 'F' (the transformed destination point/Françisca's initial) and adding it to 'Eror' gives feror, which means 'I am carried'.


            • #7
              Along the lines of elmago's information on Pinochet above . . .

              Here is a timeline from Amnesty International regarding Pinochet's prosecution. There's no way of knowing if MZD had this timeline in mind for this story, but Feb. 13 2001 does fall conveniently between two significant dates on that timeline.

              Incidentally, the AI timeline leaves out January 29, 2001: the date that Pinochet was placed under arrest by the Chilean government.
              Last edited by John B.; 02-24-2006, 05:41 AM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Raminagrobis
                What else? Taking the 'F' (the transformed destination point/Françisca's initial) and adding it to 'Eror' gives feror, which means 'I am carried'.
                That's beautiful. So he's trying to carry all the puns?


                • #9
                  Yeah. It locks together quite neatly, doesn't it?


                  • #10
                    It seems to me that, as Raminagrobis noted above, one of the main themes of the story, is love. Although this may seem obvious, I thought that I would try to tease out some more instances of this in the story.

                    The first time it comes up is in the “As set forth” paragraph: Incendio Maldonado is dictating this story “on the evening of February 13, 2001, between those ever uncertain hours of dusk and dawn.” That is, he is telling the tale of his family’s downfall in the run-up to, and early hours of Valentines day. This, knowing the way MZD (and Borges) write, cannot be a mere coincidence. [Not connected, as far as I can see, with love, but I think it very odd that Incendio Maldonado, and all the others, travel to New York and the very café where Nufro wrote his paper, to dictate, translate, retranslate and write down the story we read – it feels almost more like visiting the scene of a crime or such like].

                    Maldonado then goes on to describe the pages of Livia Bassil’s book as being filled with a love that is “perhaps irrefutable”.

                    Nufro’s mother seems to be connected with Aphrodite, as she would “emerge from the sea”

                    Francisca, is not only Nufro’s love interest, with two puns on Venus in her name

                    Nufro is ‘seduced’ by SENDA

                    It seems almost too obvious to refer to the confusion between Ero(r) and Eros.

                    Both Bassil and Incendio conclude that “It appears then that Nufro's quantum miracle, autonomous before the call of all human influences, was first and foremost a love poem for Françisca, the woman he spent a lifetime regretting he'd left.”

                    I believe that the whole story can be seen as an almost yearning plea for love to be given more weight by society, particularly as a positive motivator. Incendio Maldonado seems to be looking back 30 years to the corner of Los Pescadores and Covarrubias, saying that if Nufro had followed his love for Francisca, then his whole family would not (necessarily) have been killed, and that, by following a different path, Nufro would have ended up at F, rather than M.

                    Sorry about the rather weak end to the argument, but I am sure that there are others who can tease out more meaning and sense from all this.


                    • #11
                      Another thought with reference to the description of Nufro's mother:

                      "Supposedly, if she looked inland, the ocean would seethe with fish. If, however, she looked back at the waves, all fish would vanish."

                      I was reading the short stories of Oscar Wilde and noticed the first two paragraphs of 'The Fisherman and His Soul':

                      "Every evening the young fisherman went out upon the sea, and threw is nets into the water.

                      When the wind blew from the land he caught nothing, or but little at best, for it was a bitter and black-winged wind, and rough waves rose up to meet it. But when the wind blew to the shore, the fish came in from the deep, and swam into the meshes of his nets, and he took them to the market-place and sold them."

                      The story then veers off and the fisherman catches a mermaid, with whom he falls in love.

                      This may just be co-incidence, but it struck me as being worthy of reporting, in-land equals fish, out to sea equals no fish.


                      • #12
                        What we listen to certainly influences us. I agree. Which is why I have been listening to M.I.A's Paper Planes on repeat for the past three hours.

                        "ALL I WANNA DO BAM! BAM! BAM! AND TAKE YA MONEY!!!!"

                        SMOKING IS COOL


                        • #13
                          The post serves the same purpose as my previous one.