Robert's Reviews > Antwerp

Antwerp by Roberto Bolaño
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's review
Mar 19, 2012

it was ok
Read in March, 2012

There is clearly something going on here... but I don't know what it is exactly, and it is clear that the author doesn't care one way or the other. Being introduced to Bolano by way of "Antwerp" I realize now is a little perverse... but then again, the friend who gave it to me is a bit perverse (I'm looking in your direction Cebic!).

The quote on the back of this slim little text says "The only novel that doesn't embarrass me is Antwerp"-Bolano. But that is nonsense, because this is not a novel. This is a private and preliminary work, and it does intrigue me enough that I will go ahead and try "Savage Detectives" in the near future, but it is also frustratingly insular and incomplete. There is nothing to hold it together except images of hunchbacks and hallways full of people with no mouths... not enough to sustain even a meager 73 pages.

But there are stray sentences that stick, and stick deeply. "fleeing together long ago became living together and thus the integrity of the gesture was lost"... "you can't destroy what you don't possess"... "who was the first human being to look out a window?"... "with her guillotine mouth"... "I wrote this book for myself, and even that I can't be sure of."


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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jack The classification best fitting Antwerp, I think, is a term found in Bolaño's other works: "prose poetry". That explains the strange nature of what you found, at least.

Jack To some degree.

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