Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches, 1998-2003
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Two of my favorite books over the last few months have been The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600 and Written Lives This collection is in a similar vein. These are prefaces, reviews, speeches and other observations herded together posthumously, though Bolano imagined this possibility, especially as he began a weekly newspaper column which is also gathered here.
I took some fellow GRers advice and read ...more
I started this book back in June before setting it aside, disappointed, and wondering: WTF is going on here? I found it confused and confusing. Did he think exile was real or didn’t he? (He does, or he doesn’t, depending on how he defines exile—writers, on the other hand, seem to be immune to exile as writers can write anywhere they happen to be.)
The speeches which begin this volume were frantic, taking off on tangents, leaving me to wonder what the attendees must have th...more
Highly re ...more
From an article I found interesting in one of 2011's summer issues of The New Yorker I almost accidentally discovered the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño. I took a stab at reading his writing by purchasing the New Directions title Between Parenthesis which was highly touted as a great work which included articles, speeches, and essays Bolaño had given the world from 1998 to 2003, the year in which he died. One of many striking and thus remarkable discoveries ...more
Comencé a leer a Bolaño porque era un autor conocido cuando sabía incluso menos que ahora de literatura pero fue una decisión acertada. Si has leído las novelas de B ...more
Seppur entrambi estremamente ironici, i due autori non non potrebbero essere più diversi, atmosfera e affabulazione e fisicità e visioni in impennata per il cileno, mentre Manganelli, più oculato e ragionatore, ha un approccio analit ...more
"... everything I've written is a love letter or a farewell letter to my generation, those of us who were born in the 1950s... ". --That would include me.
What he goes on to say is that they were fighting for certain causes and here he's really talking about the political turmoil of South America in the second half of the ...more
Reading Bolaño, the English-speaker has to be overwhelmed by the vast ocean of Latin American literature that is virtually invisible in the United States. But, as Bolaño points out, that's hardly a problem unique to North Amerrica: "which brings us to a problem even worse than being forgotten: the provincialism of the book market, which corrals and locks away Spanish-language literature, which, simply put, means that Chilean authors are only of interest in Chile, Mexican authors in Mexico, and ...more
'regrettably, Argentine literature today has three reference points. Two are public. The third is secret. All three are in some sense reactions against Borges. All three ultimately represent a step backward and are conservative, not revolutionary, although all three, or at least two of them, have set themselves up as leftist al ...more
En esta obra se recogen diversos textos del autor: conferencias, reseñas literarias, apuntes de lecturas, entrevistas. Son quizás los textos más personales que conocemos hasta el momento de este autor genial, e ...more
La littérature est une machine cuirassée. Elle ne s'inquiète pas des écrivains. Parfois, elle ne se rend même pas compte que ceux-ci sont vivants. («Dérives de la pesada», p. 36)
C'est une drôle d'envie que celle de vouloir aller à la rencontre d'un écrivain au-delà de sa fiction, au-delà des histoires soigneusement construites & éditées, pour aller gratter les fonds de tiroirs de sa production littéraire. J'imagine que Bolaño -- ses livres étranges & parfaits, sa vie -- appelle ce genre ...more
Bolaño moved to Europe in 1977, and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector — working during the day and writing at night.
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Aira is an eccentric, but he is also one of the three or four best writers working in Spanish today.”