Bolano’s 2666 quote of the week (2)

This week’s reading is at once slower and more explosive than last week’s. I’m still intrigued, but far from being in love.

“Naturally, Norton was happy to hear from him and to learn he was in the city and at the agreed-upon time she appeared in the hotel lobby, where Morini, sitting in his wheelchair with a package on his lap, was patiently and impassively deflecting the flow of guests and visitors that convulsed the lobby in an ever-changing display of luggage, tired faces, perfumes trailing after meteroidian bodies, bellhops with their stern jitters, the philosophical circles under the eyes of the manager or associate manager, each with his brace of assistants radiating freshness, the same freshness of eager sacrifice emitted by young women (in the form of ghostly laughter), which Morini tactfully chose to ignore. When Norton got there they left for a restaurant in Notting Hill, a Brazilian vegetarian restaurant she had recently discovered.” (95)

I’m usually not a setting person and prefer to get straight to dialogue and character development, but this image of Morini in a stream of humanity compels with its uneven pacing and jump-cut imagery.

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8 thoughts on “Bolano’s 2666 quote of the week (2)

  1. You have a knack for picking passages that I love, also. I particularly enjoyed “meteroidian bodies” and “philosophical circles.”

    And I would also describe my feelings about the book in general in terms similar to yours. I find it compelling and interesting, but I certainly don’t love the book. I don’t care about the characters, and am not yet certain what the source of all the praise is. That being said, it’s still quite early, so there’s plenty of time for the novel to “click” for me.

    • I’m right there with you, Dan, and primarily chose that passage for the meteroidian bodies. The assault on the cabbie was my first glimmer of hope that this book might actually pick up some steam, finally, though I’m not impatient with the setup thus far because it’s supposed to be frustratingly quotidian and I refuse to throw in the towel just because I have no reason to like anyone yet. Some of the dreams seem forced, but when I got to the trio of dreams in the early 110s, I was happy to see we finally have some magical realism in this otherwise Continental opening. Hope this week sucks us in.

  2. You know I use to blame the lack of reading intellegent material on the dwindling functioning brain cells I had due to mothering young tornadoes. You’re really making me rethink my theory. :-b

  3. Ah, fae, it’s really just this particular group’s embrace of the <10pp a day policy. I can read a few pages a night, and once a week catch up an extra ten or so. Manageable schedules are all I ask, and Bucher et alium comply.

  4. Hi Naptime — I found your blog by searching for the term “meteroidian”. I am known as many things, including dataduchess at my blog, Infomavens’ Desktop, @megsdathc on Twitter, and of course my name Meaghan, which you may have seen on where I am the vocabulary tracker for the 2666 group read. Anyway, I was searching for the term meteroidian, which does not appear in the dictionary, nor on the Internet, save a few quotes from Bolano. While the term both in letter and context evokes the idea of a meteor, I wonder if you have any insight? Do you think it is merely a mis- or alternate spelling of meteoriodian, or actually a different word? Thanks!

    • I was assuming it was a misspelling or alternate spelling of meteor, datadutchess, but now I’m wondering if it is a play on meter, either poetic or mathematic…I guess I shouldn’t overthink it, since it’s in translation. I’m going with misspelled meteoroidian. What do you think?

  5. I went with misspelling too. I also was thinking it might be a play on words, and didn’t want to admit the possibility of typos, but as you say, in a translation, typo is more likely.

  6. A few years later, but I, too, stumbled upon here in search of the meaning of “meteroidian”. Good to know, I’m slightly less clueless than Bolaño made me feel. Actually, there are quite a few typos in the copy I’m reading, so this could very well be one as well. For instance, a few pages earlier “stomach ache” was spelled as one word. There were other graver errors, which now evade me, unfortunately.

    As for the novel itself, hitherto, I can sympathise with aforementioned lack of sympathy for the characters, but I find myself, nonetheless, enjoying it increasingly as I’m drawn further into this wondrously grand labyrinth. I like how almost every little thing seems to be important or mean something, but very little of it actually ever is.

    Anywise, time to delve a little deeper.

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