Cusco Travel on Nostromo is always, whatever he is doing, even after he becomes a thief and is no longer he ad of the longshoremen of Sulaco, the magnificent capataz de cargadores. He is always someone who is successful in conquests of treasure and love, just as the sunset over the Placid Gulf is the same day after day, with its emblematic white cloud, like a solid bar of silver. The second oddness is that this constant iteration moves the stylistic texture of the novel away from what we normally expect in a realist novel toward something doser to the echoing repetitions of poetry, as in the epithets of Homeric epic or the leitmotifs in a Wagner opera. Homer’s epithets, too, remain ironically attached to the persons they define even when they no longer literally apply, as Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin long ago recognized. Hector, in The Iliad, in a fine irony, remains Tamer of Horses even after he is dead (Thus made they funeral for Hector, Tamer of Horses.), just as Nostromo is already dead when he is called the magnificent capataz de cargadores for the last time. The example used by both Arnold and Ruskin is what Helen says to Priam, in The Iliad, when she is pointing out the various Greek heroes. Cusco Travel 2016.
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