What the Dust Told Me

I don’t think I get this “noir” genre. This book has no mystery, it has very little plot to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. But it’s no griping thriller. One thing that really stood out to me in the first half were the oranges. The oranges and the lack of love, or love in the physical sense at least. These oranges are enthralling to me. Bandini just seems to always have them. We see him eating very little else, yet he goes on to complain about his “pudge”. When I read this, it raises the question of something that sustains you and yet diminishes you at the same time. Fante focuses a lot on the food and the eating that Bandini does, which makes the lack of social appetite seem even more apparent and strange. While on the surface oranges and no sex do not seem to be related or even relatable, if you look into the acts on their most basic level, we get a sense of contradictory. Here is Bandini who is eating so much of this one food that he is self conscious about his white ring of fat and yet cannot get up the passion to satiate his sexual appetite. It is as though he can only have one without the other.

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