What the Dust Told Me, Part II

I would love to offer a clear and concise analysis on Fante’s Ask the Dust, but as of right now, I have no clue. This novel reads in a similar fashion to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, with little being explained and a lot being questioned. To be honest, the character of Bandini drove me crazy, right up until the last chapter. By that point I was more disgusted with Camilla than Bandini. One thing I did notice as I read was the constant admiration that Bandini gave himself. In my earlier post on this book, I remarked on the lack of love that Bandini had in his life, and I still see that in a lot of ways; but Bandini is constantly seen loving himself. Often times throughout the book, we see the narration switch from first person to third person. In these times, we get to see just how obsessed Bandini is with the idea of himself.  I don’t see him actually loving himself as much as the writer that he sees himself becoming. He seems to be so focused on the ideas behind things, the idea of a Mexican girl, the idea of morality when it comes to repaying debts. Nevertheless, up until he finally takes charge and attempts to help Camille, we don’t see him doing much in reality. I think we could relate this back to the idea of ethics in Hardboiled literature. It is talked about, but rarely acted upon.

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