The rock-hound’s use of the word Indian, rather than Mexican, opens fertile ground. A different idea of territory, of legitimacy, of history, of boundary, of intersecting identities. Who then the interloper? Who the immigrant? The undocumented?

Electric Ferry

Or perhaps these are the inevitable themes of a certain kind of writing in a certain kind of era. The narrator of the story of the Venus on the Malecón believes that a Time of Terror calls for the most elementary of reconstructions: “primitive materials . . . life histories, fictions, collections.”