Summary (Masterplots II: American Fiction Series, Revised Edition)
Locos: A Comedy of Gestures consists of a prologue with interconnected stories narrated by an unnamed writer who observes prostitutes, gamblers, and thieves gathering at a café, where writers may choose from among them for characters in their stories. “Identity” concerns Fulano, a persona who searches for recognition as a real character. Dr. José de los Rios suggests that Fulano fake his suicide, then return to Madrid, where he and the writer will help make him a more substantive character. Fulano does as the doctor instructs but does not realize that an escaped convict then assumes Fulano’s identity, becoming better known than Fulano himself was. Fulano jumps successfully to his death following promises of literary immortality.
In “A Character,” Gaston (El Cogote) Bejarano observes a beautiful woman (Lunarito) walking alone in the rain. After they exchange kisses, the girl then disappears, and Bejarano returns to his lover, Carmen. The doctor takes the author to visit El Cogote, who, having learned of Lunarito’s murder, has become ill. He recounts a recurring dream in which his sister, Carmen, whom he retrieved from a convent following a family scandal, has Lunarito’s face. El Cogote provides one ending, the writer another.
In “The Beggar,” Garcia is devastated to discover that he has accidentally given another beggar his gold coin. Garcia tracks down the beggar, Don Baez, in a sumptuous house. Although he...
(The entire section is 716 words.)
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