The Barnes & Noble Review has just published my piece on two new Bolano books, Monsieur Pain and Roberto Bolano: The Last Interview.
If you’ve become a Bolano fan, they’re both well worth your time (and, well, they’re both worth your time if you have yet to become a Bolano fan too). As I remark in the piece, they keep on publishing more Bolano and it keeps being of very high quality. The depth of his work is extremely impressive.
Here’s a quote from the piece, which contains a hilarious Bolano-take on Paz and Fuentes:
His musings on literature are never less than interesting, and watching the author opine on the great Spanish-language writers of the 20th century is a distinct pleasure. Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa come in for high praise, but others don’t fare as well. Pablo Neruda receives some harsh, if not quite demeaning words: “Neruda is what I pretended to be at age twenty: living like a poet without writing. Neruda wrote three very good books; the rest — the great majority — are very bad, some truly infected.” Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz, the two Mexican colossi of the 20th century, don’t get off nearly so easily: “I would guess that Fuentes loved Paz, if it’s possible for Fuentes to love someone, which is another topic; and Paz probably loved Fuentes, if Paz has ever loved anyone, which is again another topic. Evidently, I don’t side with either of them.”