Everything becomes a habit

When the critics, much more kindly disposed toward him now, asked what he was doing in Argentina in 1974, Amalfitano looked at them and then at his margarita and said, as if he had repeated it many times, that in 1974 he was in Argentina because of the coup in Chile, which had obliged him to choose the path of exile. And then he apologized for expressing himself so grandiloquently. Everything becomes a habit, he said, but none of the critics paid much attention to this last remark.

“Exile must be a terrible thing,” said Norton sympathetically.

“Actually,” said Amalfitano, “now I see it as a natural movement, something that, in its way, helps to abolish fate, or what is generally known as fate.”

“But exile,” said Pelletier, “is full of inconveniences, of skips and breaks that essentially keep recurring and interfere with anything you try to do that’s important.”

“That’s just what I mean by abolishing fate,” said Amalfitano. “But again, I beg your pardon.”

— Roberto Bolaño, 2664

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