Liz wrote:All of this symbolism is really interesting, and I wonder if it was intentional. I’m wondering if the cameo incident really occurred, and if there really was a Rosa and she really died. I’m wondering now if part of the reason that Fante did not want to go back and read his book is because his experience with Rosa was just too painful and that he had suffered all of his life with the guilt from the cameo incident….and his fears that he caused her to get pneumonia—founded or unfounded.
That's an interesting point, Liz. It certainly puts the author's note in a new light. He may be recounting someting that literally happened, and/but I also think that he is a writer who deals very much in symbolism. Take for instance, the fact that the events in the book happen broadly
in line with Advent and Epiphany. It starts December 5th and ends a few days after January 6th, I think. I can't find the exact date. I had to look Advent up because there was something in the back of my memory about it being associated with penitence as well as waiting. Then there's the Twelve days after Christmas, a time when the natural order of things was said to be overturned and the Lord of Misrule thing, which I connect with Svevo's absence. It may be that the timing is entirely coincidental and I am reading too much into it. But perhaps not, if the book is one way of dealing with remorse. But there are things that I can't believe are coincidental, for example the use of serpent imagery at various points, such as when Svevo feels that Maria's rosary is like a little cold tittering serpent - (she wears it in bed
). And then there's the whole white and black motif. I don't know what to make of that! There are so many connotations of those colours. But it seems to me that what is being described in the book isn't just a physical landscape, but the landscape of a soul.
Thanks Parlez and LiMoss for your comments. I thought afterwards that I had been too pessimistic - but then I think that Fante is pretty much that way, although it's a debateable point.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."