I just finished Ask The Dust and surprising loved it. At the beginning I hated Arturo, and thought him to be a self-absorbed asshole (excuse my french). I couldn’t stand the way he abused Camilla both physically and psychologically. I was utterly disgusted by the pleasing sensation he felt after making an especially condescending remark at Camilla. Gah! And, I was so sick of hearing about The Little Dog Laughed!
It wasn’t until i read the second half of the book that i really began liking Arturo. Arturo finally realizes that writing a famous story and becoming wealthy won’t make him a happier or better person. He discovers that he truly loves Camilla, even though she is still loves Sammy. In the beginning of Ask the Dust, Arturo spends his time fantasizing about his future, and spending the money he receives on trivial items for himself. At the end of the story, Arturo takes care of Camilla lending her money and taking her out to visit Sammy. Arturo becomes a giving, and self-less man.
“Across the desolation lay a supreme indifference, the casualness of night and another day, and yet the secret intimacy of those hills, their silent consoling wonder, made death a thing of no great importance. You could die, but the desert would hide the secret of your death, it would remain after you, to cover your memory with the ageless wind and heat and cold.” I really like the reoccurring idea of the desert and how it represents death, but not in a negative way. The desert symbolizes a barrier to the unknown. How it’s always been there and always will be there like the coming and going of life..of generations. Arturo says, “Why should i search for her? Whey could i bring her but a return to the brutal wilderness that had broken her? I walked back in the dawn, sadly in the dawn. The hills had her know. Let these hills hide her! Let her live with the stones and sky, with the wind blowing her hair to the end. Let her go that way.” I find this idea, her death, to be beautiful. Neither is Camilla’s death sad nor happy. It’s the way of life. The way of the desert.