Tag Archives: Bolaño

Reviews Catch-Up

Wow, big surprise, I am way busy in graduate school. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to read for pleasure, though.

The New York Trilogy (Paul Auster)

Boy is this a mindtrip of a book! It’s actually three books in one: City of Glass, Ghosts and The Locked Room, all detective stories. City of Glass is about a writer of mystery novels (of course!) who gets mistaken for a detective (who just happens to be called Paul Auster) and gets sucked into a case involving a young man who was locked up as a child by his father for years, the tower of Babel  and the authorship of Don Quixote. WOW. I know. Ghosts sounds like it features the cast from “Reservoir Dogs,” because all of the characters are named after colors. The main character is Blue, a detective who used to work for Brown. Blue is paid to follow a man called Black who seems to do nothing but sit in his apartment, write and read Walden all day, and while watching him Blue graduallygets more obsessed with and sucked into Black’s life. The Locked Room is possibly the most straightforward of all three works: it features a first-person narrator (another writer! only of magazine articles, though) who learns that not only did a childhood friend disappear, but that this friend also produced a mountain of fictional work, apparently with the Kafkaesque intention to never publish it. Under the narrator’s oversight the work is published to great critical acclaim, he starts getting mysterious notes and that’s when things start getting whacky.

Well, I just loved this book. It reminded me of Ricardo Piglia, Bolaño and Onetti, the three literary Latin American greats, thrown into a blender to make a delicious Paul Auster smoothie. Ghosts is especially Onettian, as the main character is someone who “does nothing, who merely sits in his room and writes,” (172) so reminiscent of Brausen in La vida breve. Did Bolaño ever read New York Trilogy? It was published in the 80’s; he must have. I’m just going to pretend like he did because the thought of him doing so makes me really happy.

I liked this book because I wanted to keep reading it, I couldn’t put it down, and it was a fascinating blend of literary criticism, philosophical pondering and good old fashion page-turning. The first story, City of Glass, is probably the work that most thesising graduate students pant over, what with the whole “Paul Auster as a character” thing. As a bonus, it also features a villain who wants to recreate the tower of Babel, in the sense that he wants to restore the original connection of language to God and truth as opposed to arbitrary signs–I mean WOW, how can you be a graduate student and not dig that?

I’m sure that there are lots of ways that these three stories are connected that I didn’t notice on a first reading (this is definitely a book I plan on reading again). All three stories deal with the nature of language, the question of authorship, and the relationship between signs (or clues) to reality. Another link is that the main character in Glass (Daniel Quinn, same initials as Don Quixote) is mentioned in The Locked Room as a detective who was hired to search for the missing childhood friend (he never actually appears as a character). There’s also a little red notebook that tends to travel around. In one particularly real mindtrip of a moment in The Locked Room, the narrator refers “the two books that came before it [this story], City of Glass and Ghosts. These three stories are finally the same story, but each one represents a different stage in my awareness of what it is about.” (294) Wow, when I read this sentence, my little head exploded. So, like, the writer in The Locked Room is the author of City of Glass and Ghosts? Eeeeeee!

I’m really excited to read this book again in a year or so. Check out this Piglian paragraph (what a weird sounding adjective–Pigliaesque? Whatever, reminiscent of Piglia is all I mean):

Every life is inexplicable, I kept telling myself. No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists the telling. To say that so and so was born here and went there, that he did this and did that, that he married this woman and had these children, that he lived, that he died, that he left behind these books of this battle or that bridge–none of that tells us very much. We all want to be told stories, and we listen to them in the same way that we did when we were young. We imagine the real story inside the words, and to do this we substitute ourselves for the person in the story, pretending that we can understand him because we understand ourselves. That is a deception. We exist for ourselves, perhaps, and at times we even have a glimmer of who we are, but in the end we can never be sure, and as our lives go on, we become more and more opaque to ourselves, more and more aware of our own incoherence. No one can cross the boundary into another–for the simple reason that no one can gain access to himself. (248-249)

The Third Reich (Bolaño)

Wow, imagine my surprise when I learned that The Third Reich is an actual board game. Whodathunk? My brothers only ever played Axis and Allies.

This book was pretty interesting. It’s not Bolaño’s best (how could it be if he left it at the bottom of a desk drawer, where apparently it spent 20 years before being discovered posthumously?). Honestly speaking though? I would be pretty happy if I could eventually write a novel on the level of this one.

This book is about a German named Udo who is obsessed with playing a strategy board game called The Third Reich (the way this obsession affects his relationship and his attitude towards the world reminded me a lot of video games and the Internet in general). Anyway, Udo goes on holiday with his girlfriend at a beachside resort in Spain, where his family used to go when he was a little kid. The atmosphere and events that unfold in the book feel like the descriptive sentences you’d write on the back of a novel to try to get the reader intrigued, full of mystery and foreshadowing. They befriend another German who disappears while windsurfing. They start hanging out with two local louts with the oddly biblical names of the Lamb and the Wolf. Ominous references are made to the husband of the hotel’s owner, sick and never seen. With all this in the foreground, el Quemado then appears, the owner of a pedal boat business, rumored to be Latin American and whose body is covered with mysterious burns that occasionally give off a mossy sheen. Udo and el Quemado start playing the Third Reich together and that’s when **** gets real.

A lot of this book is pure atmosphere. Not that much happens, so that minor incidents (feeling sick from drinking a cup of coffee or calling a friend and receiving no answer) feel monumental. I could have done without the 3+ page descriptions of how the counters were moved around the board but that’s just me; I’m sure any buff of World War II history would have loved it, and those pages were necessary to fully reveal the depth of Udo’s obsession (I just didn’t feel like reading them is all).

I really enjoyed reading this book. Will Bolaño’s 2pac-like output continue after this?! Is this the very last work of his we hope to get? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when that day comes, I’ll be a very sad little reader indeed.

Seek: Reports from the Edge of America & Beyond (Denis Johnson)

Boy, did I like this book a whole lot. Boy, am I really getting into Denis Johnson. He takes you on a helluva ride throughout this book: Liberia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Montana, Alaska. My personal favorite is the piece on the hippie festival in Oregon, which also coincidentally contains my three favorite sentences in the book:

– I’ve brought a couple hundred dollars in my pocket because . . . I don’t care what they say, I’ve never seen anybody trade dope for anything except sex or cash.

– I who have had so much of peace and so much of love, I have never really believed in either one.

– I said I’d split it, but I only gave him about a quarter. Less than a quarter. Yeah. I never quite became a hippie. And I’ll never stop being a junkie.

Yeah. The opening and closing pieces on Liberia are also extremely strong and the main reason for reading this book. I’ll never forget the first time I read the closing piece on Liberia, “The Small Boys’ Unit,” in my non-fiction class in 2008. I don’t know if I’ll ever read anything again in my life that more closely resembles a descent into complete and utter hell.

My favorite thing about this book is how completely unafraid Johnson is to reveal himself as this less than perfect person. At one point in regards to Liberia, he makes the following confession (which almost sounds like an understatement in light of everything that came before): “My assignment in Liberia was over. As far as I could see at the time and as far as I can see now, I accomplished nothing… I’d come to this place and I was not whole enough or real enough to accept its terms.” Another similarly, unforgettable moment of candor takes place when Johnson comes thisclose to screaming racially charged epitaphs at the Liberians around him, despite the fact that “my parents raised me to love all the earth’s people.” It’s moments like this one in which Johnson achieves an Orwellian level of brutal, unflinching honesty. It’s hard to read, but it’s even harder to look away.

The Hour of the Star (Clarice Lispector)

Well, this was one of the strangest and most interesting books I’ve ever read. And I like to think that I’ve read my fair share, ya know what I’m sayin’?

Ali Smith quoted the opening paragraph of this book at the beginning of one of her short story collections, and now that I’ve read Star I can definitely see why Smith found this book so appealing. It plays with language, the role of the narrator and reader in that innovative, unexpected and utterly delightful way I’ve come to expect from Smith, in which you are consistently surprised and never sure where you are going or what’s going to happen next.

This book is a story-within-a-story: our narrator is Rodrigo S.M., a somewhat bougie, overtly self-conscious tormented artist who wouldn’t be super out of place with the young crowd in The Savage Detectives. He’s attempting to write a story about Macabea, a poor girl from an urban neighborhood in Brazil. The details Rodrigo provides us about her are select and few: she’s a virgin, she likes Coca-Cola, she’s ugly and often ill, she’s a terrible typist. Argh, now that I’m trying to do it, I realize how difficult this book is to summarize. I think this is a work where its greatness and intrigue comes primarily from HOW it treats its subject matter, rather than WHAT it’s about (if that makes any sense). I am definitely going to have to read this again (it’s very short, 86 pages in my edition!).

This book (similarly to Bartleby & Co.) made me very interested in how the figure of the AUTHOR is depicted in fiction. I’m sure there are many masters theses out there about how the structure of the narrative is paralleled with the creative process in Lispector herself. The contrast between Rodrigo and his invented character of Macabea is fascinating, not just because he’s rich and male and she’s poor and female (though that’s a big part of it). Just like in the works of Ali Smith, the words on the pages of this novel aren’t just words; they’re living, breathing people; they’re universes, they’re worlds. By figuring out how to write a story, are we attempting to figure out how to live our lives? How do we deal with the ultimately ineffable mysteries about our characters and ourselves? Does writing (and living) lead to breathtaking awe or heart-sinking despair? These are just some of the questions this book left me with.

Also, maybe this is cheating, but this book felt all the more poignant to me when I learned that it was the last book Lispector wrote before her death from cancer. Apparently she didn’t know she was sick at the time that she wrote it, but it still made the book’s last sentences all the more beautiful and moving to me (in the same way I feel moved by Mrs. Dalloway’s celebrations of life and being alive):

Dear God, only now am I remembering that people die. Does that include me?
Don’t forget, in the meantime, that this is the season for strawberries. Yes.

Bartleby & Co (Enrique Vila-Matas)

This was another interesting book that is hard to summarize. Again, the narrator is a writer, but one who doesn’t write. Instead of writing he obsessively catalogs and researches what he calls “writers of the no,” or writers who (for whatever reason) started writing and then stopped (like Rulfo and Rimbaud), or in some cases never wrote at all.

I honestly couldn’t tell which books in this novel really exist and which ones don’t. I don’t really want to know. This book is more like literary criticism or an essay than a novel (there’s not really a plot to speak of)–it reminded me of Bolaño’s Nazi Literature of the Americas or Ricardo Piglia. I can definitely understand why some people wouldn’t be into this, but I totally dug it (admittedly I am a giant nerd). Just like The Hour of the Star, this book seems to be an essay and exploration about the creative process and the nature of writing, via an examination of the act of NOT writing. Fascinating!

My one comment is that I wish SOMETHING had happened to the narrator. There are little hints of plot development throughout the text: we learn he’s a hunchback, he loses his job, a homoerotic relationship is implied, there’s always the question of his own writing hanging over the text… and then the book just ends. Which is OK. I still think it’s very clever and fascinating. I just wanted a leetle eensy-weensy bit more. Otherwise I don’t really understand why all those little hints of info and character/plot development were included in the first place… I guess it did keep me interested and made it easier to read, so I didn’t feel like I was reading a bunch of footnotes or flash mini-essays by Mr. Vila-Matas.

Irreguardless this is definitely another book I would like to read again, along with other works by the same author. Here’s to pleasure reading!

I live like an explorer. The more I advance in the search for the labyrinth’s centre, the further away I am from it. I am like the explorer in Kafka’s In the Penal Colony who does not understand the meaning of the designs the officer shows him: “It’s very clever, but I can’t work it out.” (147)

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Delectable Bolaño from “Beyond Parentheses”

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No one in the world is as brave as a poet. No one in the world faces disaster with more dignity and understanding… Behind these shadowy fronts are probably the toughest people in the world, and definitely the bravest. If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America, I’d take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful. (117)

My friend says that the secret is to stay relaxed and read a lot and work constantly. But don’t you ever get sad? I ask him. Sometimes I get sad, he says almost in a whisper, but I’m always happy. (120)

The joy of being alive with no further discussion. (124)

The thousand lotions, the sunscreens. They smell of democracy, of civilization. (130)

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Quotes from “The Savage Detectives”

bolanoAfter re-reading “The Savage Detectives” backwards (starting with the last chapter in Part II and reading all the way to the beginning, then reading Part III, and finally Part I), I was going to write something really epic and intelligent-sounding that would summarize all of Bolaño’s themes. Like MADNESS and LITERATURE and YOUTH and POLITICS and DEATH. Dreams, light, windows, understanding, the lack of meaning, searching, traveling, food, creativity, art… I could go on. Then I decided what I really wanted to do was just post my favorite Bolaño quotes that I underlined while reading.

All quotes are from  “The savage detectives” by Roberto Bolaño; translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. Starting backwards from Part II:

Like so many Mexicans, I too gave up poetry. Like so many thousands of Mexicans, I too turned my back on poetry.
We’re not doing it for you, Amadeo, we’re doing it for Mexico, for Latin America, for the Third World, for our girlfriends, because we feel like doing it.
And the one who was reading raised his eyes and looked at me as if I were behind a window or he were on the other side of a window, and said: relax, nothing’s wrong. Goddamn psychotic boys! As if speaking in one’s sleep were nothing! As if making promises in one’s sleep were nothing!

I saw them as if through a window, one of them with his eyes open and the other with his eyes shut, but both of them looking, looking out? looking in?
I shuffled over to the switch and turned out the light.

All languages seemed detestable to me just then… To say that know is silly, I know. All those languages, all that whispering, simply a vicarious way of preserving our identity for an uncertain length of time. Ultimately, I don’t know why they seemed detestable, maybe because in an absurd way I was lost somewhere in those two long rooms, lost in a region I didn’t know, a country I didn’t know, a continent I didn’t know, on a strange, elongated planet.
He had lost something and he wanted to die, that was all.
He was telling his own story, a story that made no sense, telling it over and over, with the difference that each time he condensed it a little more, until at last all he was saying was: I wanted to die, but I realized it was better not to.

One of those things that drove me wild, the ability of human beings to adapt to anything, instantly.
I’m basically a fighter. I try to stay positive. Things don’t have to be bad or inevitable.
I’m sociable, a person who likes to be happy, and where do you find happiness if not in people?
It still seems impossible to me that anyone, no matter how much he read, could’ve read every book in the world. There must be so many of them, and I don’t mean every single book, good and bad, just the good ones. There must be stacks of them! Enough so you could spend twenty-four hours a day reading! And that’s not to mention the bad ones, since there must be more bad ones than good ones… That poem is total bullshit. Neither of those things is possible.
I asked him… what a person was supposed to do after reading everything and sleeping with everyone, according to the French poet, of course, and he said travel, go away.
I felt free, that was the main thing, and I also felt loved, embraced, protected, I felt like I was a worthwhile person and that made me happy.
What matters is your son and your health. Worry about your son and worry about your health and stop getting yourself in these messes. It’s hard to believe that such a smart guy could be so dumb.
At that moment I even understood, or thought I understood, all of Arturo’s insanities, the crazy things he’d done and the things he was about to do, and I would’ve liked to go to Africa too that night while we were watching the sea and the lights in the distance, the little trawlers; I felt capable of anything and especially of leaving for somewhere far away.
How could it be a good novel when it was just one sentence repeated over and over again? That shows a lack of respect for the reader. Life is shitty enough without being stuck buying a book where all it says is “All work and no play…” … Your common sense amazes me, Teresa, he said.
I think I talked to him about life’s responsibilities, the things I believed in and clung to in order to keep breathing.

The writers of Spain (and Latin American) were generally from well-to-do families or families of certain social standing. As soon as they took up the pen, they rejected or chafed at that standing: to write was to renounce, to forsake, sometimes even to commit suicide. It meant going against the family… Today… they tend to use writing as a means to move a few rungs up the social ladder.

(500) I felt reasonably happy, I kept busy, I watched things, I watched myself watch things, I read, I lived a peaceful life. I didn’t produce much. That may be important.
(503) Life (the specter of life) is constantly challenging us for acts we’ve never committed, and sometimes for acts we never even thought of committing.
(510) [During the scene in which Belano duels with the critic] In a brief moment of lucidity, I was sure that we’d all gone crazy. But even that moment of lucidity was displaced by a super-second of super-lucidity (if I can put it that way) in which I realized that this scene was the logical outcome of our ridiculous lives. It wasn’t a punishment but a new wrinkle. It gave us a glimpse of ourselves in our common humanity. It wasn’t proof of our idle guilt but a sign of our miraculous and pointless innocence. But that’s not it. That’s not it. We were still and they were in motion.

(480) it has to do with life, with what we can lose without knowing it, and what we can regain. So what can we regain? I said. What we lost, said Norman, we can get it back intact.
(482) and then all of a sudden I understood everything. What was there to understand? I said. Everything, the most important thing of all.
(484) No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get anything clear.. It was all vague and depressing…. Everyone riding on the metro at that time of night seemed sick. She went one way and I went the other.
(488) Where we really want to go… To modernity, Cesarea, I said, to goddamned modernity… The search for a place to live and a place to work was the common fate of all mankind.

(466) You pay poets, it was said, with the money you make from crooked business men, embezzlers, drug traffickers, murderers of women and children, money launderers, corrupt politicians.
(467) Belano, who buried himself in a world where everything stank, where everything stank of shit and urine and rot and poverty and sickness, a world where the stink was suffocating and numbing, and where the only things that didn’t stink was my daughter’s body.
(469) I realized what Arturo Belano had known the moment he saw me. I was a terrible poet.
I sought peace and I didn’t find it.

(474) We’re all alone and we’re lost.

(435) We weren’t writing for publication but to understand ourselves or better or just to see how far we could go. And when we weren’t writing we talked endlessly about his life and my life, although sometimes Arturo told me stories about friends who had died in the guerrilla wars of Latin America.
(436) I never met a Mexican who knew how to rig a phone, maybe because we weren’t ready for the modern world. The rigged telephones were easy to tell by the lines that formed around them, especially at night. The best and worst of Latin America came together in those lines, the old revolutionaries and the rapists, the former political prisoners and the hawkers of junk jewelry.
(438) One night I met the devil. That’s all I remember. I met the devil and I knew I was going to die.
(440) Any little thing made me cry. A house seen from the distance, traffic jams, people trapped inside their cars, the daily news.
(445) I asked her what life was like in Los Angeles and she said that it was different every day, that sometimes it could be very good and sometimes very bad, but if you worked hard you could get ahead.
(446) I was going to ask whether she was alone when she died but then I decided not to ask anything.
(447) I knew immediately that they would buy the house and right there in the yard, without taking off my gloves, standing there like a pillar of salt, I decided that the time had come for me to leave too.

(400-401) When I got home everything had changed… I got depressed and didn’t know what to do… No one knew me and I didn’t know anyone.
(404) [I think this is probably my favorite quote of all… I love his descriptions of food!] Very hungry and very much like crying and very happy. And I rushed into the kitchen and in the kitchen were two men and a woman, who were talking animatedly about someone who had died. And I took a ham sandwich and ate it and then I had two gulps of Coca-Cola to wash it down. The bread was somehow dry. But the sandwich was delicious, so I took another one, this time a cheese sandwich, and I ate it little by little, not all at once, chewing carefully and smiling the way I used to smile so many years ago… I heard what they were saying, they were talking about a corpse and a burial, about a friend of mine, an architect, who had died, and at that moment it seemed appropriate for me to say that I’d known him. That was all. They were talking about a dead man whom I’d known, and then they started to talk about other things, I guess.
(406) In a burst of utter Mexicanness, I knew that we were ruled by fate and that we would all drown in the storm.
(406-407) I set out to dissect what had become of my youth. And I concluded that everything had to change, even if I wasn’t sure just then how to go about it or what path to take.
(408) Life has many wonderful moments, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
(415) We aren’t given much on this earth. We have to pray and work.
(416) There’s nothing like traveling to expand your horizons… When I was done traveling I returned convinced of one thing: we’re nothing.
(417) I was missing a purpose or the purpose. Or what amounts to the same thing, at least from my perspective: I want to understand the phenomenon that had jump-started my fortune, the numbers that hadn’t lit up my head for so long, and accept that reality like a man.
I realized I was probably never going to understand the true nature of my luck, of the money that had rained down on me from the sky. But like a good Chilean I refused to accept this, that there was anything I couldn’t know, and I began to read and read
(418) I would keep reading, without letting myself rest, as if I were about to die and I didn’t want to die before I’d understood what was going on around me and over my head and under my feet.
(420) The heart of the matter is knowing whether evil (or sin or crime or whatever you want to call it) is random or purposeful. If it’s purposeful, we can fight it… If it’s random on the other hand, we’re fucked, and we’ll just have to hope that God, if he exists, has mercy on us. And that’s what it all comes down to.

(390) Laura asked me, pretending as if she didn’t know, how the young poets of Mexico were faring… I lied, saying: they’re fine, almost everyone is publishing, the earthquake will give them years of material.
(393) I would think about my next article, about the story I was planning to write… and the time would fly… I can only write about things I feel connected to.
(396-397) [Amadeo looking in mirror:] I was still myself. Not the self I’d gotten used to, but myself.. I could separate myself from the confounded quicksilver of the mirror I was leaning against.. my fingerprints lingered like ten tiny faces speaking in unison and so quickly I couldn’t make out their words.
(398) I’ve never understood a goddamn thing… It’s a joke, Amadeo, the poem is a joke covering up something more serious… I fell into a doze as, like Pedro Paramo, they wandered the hell of my house, or the hell of memories my house had become.
(399) There is no mystery, Amadeo.

(374-375) There’s no such thing as purity, boys, don’t fool yourselves, life is shit
(375) I can’t help thinking that the poets and politicians, especially in Mexico, are one and the same… But back then I was young, too young and idealistic, which is to say I was pure.
(376) But then something very simple happened and everything changed.
(377) smoke a cigarette and think about postcoital sadness, that vexing sadness of the flesh, and about all the books he hadn’t read.
(379) I saw our struggles and demons all tangled up in the same failure, and that failure was called joy.
(382) He’d ask me about my life, and I’d ask him about his life, and we might talk until two or three in the morning, about things that had happened to us and the books we’d read.
(384) Why don’t you write anymore, mana? I asked her once and she answered that she just didn’t feel like it, that was all, she just didn’t feel like it.
(386) After death of Luscious Skin: I couldn’t take the day off either, because we’re swamped at the office.

(370) I felt pity too, and I knew I was in love.
[Another great description of food!] Usually they were complicated or sometimes they were simple but they were always tasty.
(373) everyone who leaves Mexico ends up coming back someday… his conclusion was that everyone was slowly but surely going insane.

(350) One of those apocalyptic Mexico City mornings
(352) History in the making, as they say, one endless party.
(355) All poets get lost at some point or another.
(357) Ah, the lives you writers lead.
It was as if he were saying: we revolutionaries smoke strong tobacco, real men smoke strong tobacco, those of us with a stake in objective reality smoke real tobacco.

(359) Do you know what the worst thing about literature is?.. That you end up being friends with writers.
It sounded like Borges, but I didn’t tell him so.

(360) don’t worry, the poet doesn’t die, he loses everything, but he doesn’t die. What thou lovest well remains.

(341) like the shitty revolutionaries who cash a government check every two weeks
(342) madness is madness is madness, and sadness too, and at the end of the day the three of us are Americans, children of Caliban, lost in the great American wilderness, and I think that touched me, to see a spark of understanding, a spark of tolerance in the eyes of that powerful man… in that fraction of a second I thought: everything is all right, I hope everything will be all right.
(343) talking about LITERATURE, talking about POLITICS, at the gates of paradise.
(348) They really seemed like two extraterrestrials… their look seemed modeled on the hackneyed archetype of the young leftist poet… Limp dicks.

(318) I knew everything, but I didn’t know anything.
(325) What were you doing in Israel, Heimito? I told him. Searching, searching.
(334) finally he said that he didn’t understand any of it. What’s to understand? I said. He looked at me as if I’d said something idiotic, as if I were too young to know what he meant, and didn’t answer.
(334-335) the math teacher called them parasites, saying that they were the kind of element that paralyzes society and keeps a country from every making any progress. I said that I was just like them and he replied that it wasn’t true, that I studied and worked whereas they didn’t do anything. They’re poets, I argued… Lazy slobs is what they are, he said. … I felt empty and irresponsible.
(335) Everything he and Belano had meant to me was too remote now. He talked about his travels. I thought there was too much literature in his telling of them.

(152) It occurred to me that it was all a message for me. It was a way of saying don’t leave me, see what I’m capable of, stay with me. .. But that wasn’t what I meant to say.
(154) Literature isn’t innocent. I’ve known that since I was fifteen.
(246) Ulises reading in the shower
(314) Ah, what a relief to come into the light, even when it’s a shadowy half-light, what a relief to come where it’s clear.

The window of Bolaño’s literature helps me see myself more clearly…

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