Briana G. Traverson
June 26, 2011
Erectile Dysfunction: Disbelief and Confusion
In The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Lolsalda Jungle we have witchcraft penis dysfunctions, Spanish Harlem and the Village. We also witness a connection between an older man and a young teenager. In the passage below I feel we witness variable focalization. Meaning the story is being told through more then one pair of eyes.
“As the two girls went into the bar, Omaha Bigelow lay on the sidewalk laughing but wondering how the hell they knew about his dick and the Penile Asparaguitus from which he suffered. Did they know Carrie Marshack? The bitch that kicked him out two weeks ago before because what? He didn’t have a job at Kinko’s anymore? Like working at Kinko’s with stoned poets and Puerto Rican JUCO students was supposed to be a career? Fine, Fly caught him sleeping in the back and he screwed up Sander Hicks’s copies. Big deal. It wasn’t like Allen Ginsberg died again or something. Or like he had dissed Iggy Pop when he came in that one time to copy his passport. Iggy was cool. People were nuts.” (Vega 3)
Here we have the narrator discussing Omaha’s current life. He gets fired from Kinko’s, gets thrown out of his girlfriends house and everyone finds out about his personal problems. I think this is a good example of variable focalization because I see two people telling the story in this paragraph. The first sentence “As the two girls went into the bar…” forces me to listen to the author. That is the author’s perspective of Omaha’s situation. As the quote goes on I feel like it can be Omaha’s thoughts. He is asking himself questions in disbelief. As if he knows his life is slowly but surely falling apart and he just can’t get over it. The questions he proposes can be thoughts on his own situation.
Towards the middle of Omaha Bigelow we witness variable focalization again. This time the author and Maruquita.
“Flaquita now went to work in earnest. She said several flakura mukuras and began singing, not an enlargement song, but a shrinking song. Maruquita couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She wanted to protest but knew better then to interrupt her mother when she was working. Right before her eyes her Omagaw Boogaloo was shrinking.” (Vega 95)
Here we can see ourselves getting into Maruquitas head. Even though the author is describing the scene, the way Maruquitas thoughts are portrayed is us creeping into her personal thoughts. “Omagaw Boogaloo” is Maruquitas made up name for Omaha Bigelow. As her mother, Flaquita performs the ceremony of the enlargement Maruquita relizes her mother is singing to make Omahas penis smaller. She doesn’t understand why but refuses to ask questions. And that’s where I see Maruquitas point of view. When she says “Maruquita couldn’t believe what she was seeing…” we can imagine her standing there in disbelief thinking about what went wrong and what is going on.
Jahn, Manfred. “Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative.” Poems, Plays, and
Prose: A Guide to the Theory of Literary Genres. Cologne: U of Cologne Press,
Vega Yunqué, Edgardo. The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the
Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle. Overlook, 2004.
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