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By Roberto Bolaño

A travel de strength, Amulet is a hugely charged first-person, semi-hallucinatory novel that embodies in a single woman's voice the depression and violent fresh heritage of Latin America.Amulet is a monologue, like Bola?o's acclaimed debut in English, by means of evening in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan girl who moved to Mexico within the Nineteen Sixties, turning into the "Mother of Mexican Poetry," striking out with the younger poets within the caf?s and bars of the collage. She's tall, skinny, and blonde, and her favourite younger poet within the Nineteen Seventies is none except Arturo Belano (Bola?o's fictional stand-in all through his books). in addition to her younger poets, Auxilio remembers 3 impressive girls: the melancholic younger thinker Elena, the exiled Catalan painter Remedios Varo, and Lilian Serpas, a poet who as soon as slept with Che Guevara. And during her imaginary stopover at to the home of Remedios Varo, Auxilio sees an uncanny panorama, a type of chasm. This chasm reappears in a imaginative and prescient on the finish of the ebook: a military of kids is marching towards it, making a song as they pass. the kids are the idealistic younger Latin american citizens who got here to adulthood within the '70s, and the final phrases of the unconventional are: "And that tune is our amulet."

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Example text

So I could say it. I could say one mother of a zephyr is blowing down the centuries, but I better not. For example, I could say I knew Arturito Belano when he was a shy seventeen-year-old who wrote plays and poems and couldn't hold his liquor, but in a sense it would be superfluous and I was taught (they taught me with a lash and with a rod of iron) to spurn all superfluities and tell a straightforward story. What I can say is my name. although when I get nostalgic, when homesickness wells up and overwhelms me, I say I'm a Charrúa, which is more or less the same thing, though not exactly, and it confuses Mexicans and other Latin Americans too.

They could say: Auxilio talks like a conspirator, bending close and covering her mouth. They could say: Auxilio looks you in the eyes when she speaks. They could say (with a laugh): How is it that Auxilio, who is constantly fiddling with a book or a glass of tequila, always manages to raise one hand to her mouth, in that spontaneous, natural-seeming way? What's the secret of her prodigious dexterity? Now, since I'm not planning to take that secret to the grave (where there's no point taking anything), I'll tell you, my friends: it's all in the nerves.

At night, however, I opened out, I began to grow again, I became a bat, I left the university and wandered around Mexico City like a wraith (I can't in all honesty say like a fairy, although I would like to) and drank and talked and attended literary gatherings (I knew where to find them all) and counseled the young poets who came to see me even back then, though not as much as they would later on, and I had a kind word for each of them. What am I saying: a word! I had a hundred or a thousand words for every one of them; to me they were all grandsons of López Velarde, great-grandsons of Salvador Díaz Mirón, those brave, troubled boys, those downhearted boys adrift in the nights of Mexico City, those brave boys who turned up with their sheets of foolscap folded in two and their dog-eared volumes and their scruffy notebooks and sat in the cafés that never close or in the most depressing bars in the world, where I was the only woman, except, occasionally, for the ghost of Lilian Serpas (but more about Lilian later), and they gave me their poems to read, their verses, their fuddled translations, and I took those sheets of foolscap and read them in silence, with my back to the table where they were raising their glasses desperately trying to be ingenious or ironic or cynical, poor angels, and I plunged into those words (I can't in all honesty say into that river of words, although I would like to, since it wasn't so much a river as an inchoate babble), letting them seep into my very-marrow, I spent a moment alone with those words choked by the brilliance and sadness of youth, with those splinters of a shattered dime-store mirror, and I looked at myself or rather for myself in them, and there I was!

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