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Friday, December 05, 2014

Roberto Bolaño

Roberto Bolaño
photo by Jerry Bauer
no copyright infringement intended

yesterday my friend Adrian Rezus mentioned two personages from Bolaño's novels in a Facebook post: both personages are related to the Romanian space (it's a Romanian space completely imagined by Bolaño, just for the sake of his literary universe, no fucking connection with reality) - the first personage is hundred percent invented, a general named Eugenio Entrescu !!! (what a freaking name for a general!) and he appears in La literatura Nazi en América; the second is no more no less than Dracula himself (2666); after reading the post of Rezus, I found on the web a blog authored by a guy pretending to be no other than General Entrescu (though Bolaño left his hero crucified some place in Ukraine in 1944, so maybe it's a case of resurrection); and I remembered that two years ago I had read another Facebook post, by Junot Diaz (Living by the Book), mentioning two of Bolaño's books (Nocturno de Chile and Llamadas Telefónicas) in his shortlist of the best of the best; so to speak Roberto Bolaño was big: a novelist, short story writer and poet, completely bohemian for all his life, wondering through Chile, Mexico, Salvador, France and Spain, supporting himself with the most menial jobs (dishwasher, bellhop, garbage collector, that kind of stuff) while writing his books during nights; extremely intense politically, Trotskyist, immersed in the revolutionary movements of Latin America of the last decades;  Amberes (written 1980, published 2002) is a loose prose-poem novel considered as the big-bang of Bolaño's world; La literatura Nazi en América (1996) is an entirely invented encyclopedia in the ironic register of fascist Latin and North American writers, coming out as blinded by their mediocrity and self-mythification (among them the Entrescu guy, hony soit qui mal y pense); Estrella distante (1996), takes one of the portraits from the previous novel and develops it in the context of the Pinochet regime; Llamadas Telefónicas (1997) is a collection of fourteen short stories, considered among the greatest things Bolaño ever wrote (whatever that means); Los Detectives Salvajes (1998) is a polyphonic narrative walking the reader through years, continents, and literary movements - it calls in mind Cortázar; Nocturno de Chile (2000) takes place in one evening, and it is written as a single long paragraph: the deathbed confession, hallucinatory and defensive,  of a Chilean Jesuit priest and poet, failed as a priest and failed as a poet; 2666 (published posthumously in 2004) is a 1100 page novel with manifold themes, exploring the 20th century degeneration through a wide array of characters, locations, time periods, and stories within stories (info and quotes source: wikipedia)

(Una Vida Entre Libros)



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