“It Sounds Like the Title of a David Lynch Film” — A Passage from Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

A passage from Roberto Bolaño’s opus 2666

The card for the Santa Teresa cybercafe was a deep red, so red that it was hard to read what was printed on it. On the back, in a lighter red, was a map that showed exactly where the cafe was located. He asked the receptionist to translate the name of the place. The clerk laughed and said it was called Fire, Walk With Me.

“It sounds like the title of a David Lynch film,” said Fate.

The clerk shrugged and said that all of Mexico was a collage of diverse and wide-ranging homages.

“Every single thing in this country is an homage to everything in the world, even the things that haven’t happened yet,” he said.

After he told Fate how to get to the cybercafe, they talked for a while about Lynch’s films. The clerk had seen all of them. Fate had seen only three or four. According to the clerk, Lynch’s greatest achievement was the TV series Twin Peaks. Fate liked The Elephant Man best, maybe because he’d often felt like the elephant man himself, wanting to be like other people but at the same time knowing he was different. When the clerk asked him whether he’d heard that Michael Jackson had bought or tried to buy the skeleton of the elephant man, Fate shrugged and said that Michael Jackson was sick. I don’t think so, said the clerk, watching something presumably important that was happening on TV just then.

“In my opinion,” he said with his eyes fixed on the TV Fate couldn’t see, “Michael knows things the rest of us don’t.”

“We all know things we think nobody else knows,” said Fate.

2 thoughts on ““It Sounds Like the Title of a David Lynch Film” — A Passage from Roberto Bolaño’s 2666”

  1. “It sounds like the title of a David Lynch film”

    I can’t tell if this is supposed to imply that Fate doesn’t know that “Fire, Walk With Me” actually is a David Lynch film or if this is a translation problem. Seems kind of strange for a cafe to have a name that is the same — when translated, at least — as a film, which a character then recognizes as being similar to something the director of said film would name a film. Makes me wonder if the original was more like Fate saying something along the lines of “[in reference to the cafe’s name]…like the David Lynch film?”


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