The Third Reich was unpublished at the time of Bolaño’s death, but there are indications that he meant it to be published one day: he had begun typing it up, as he did with earlier unpublished novels that were eventually published in his lifetime. The book follows the transformation of one Udo Berger, a German tourist in Spain’s Costa Brava as he plays a board game called The Third Reich. Wimmer corresponded with me on the actual board game that inspired The Third Reich, reading fast for pleasure vs reading slow for translation, the role of creativity in the process of translation, and readings and misreadings of Roberto Bolaño. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The thing that makes Bolano’s novels so good and his criticism generally mediocre is the way he went about writing about poets, bravery, etc. In the context of the fiction, Bolano’s mystification of poets and romanticism in general comes across as sober and interesting. In the nonfiction it tends to sound pretentious . . . . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The National has just run my review of Between Parentheses, the collectio nof 99% of Bolano’s nonfiction writings. (Also see my Between Parentheses reading list, which has become quite popular of late.) . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Roberto Bolano is getting a street named after him in the Spanish town of Girona.
Por primera vez un amigo se convierte en parte de una ciudad. Roberto Bolaño, a quien conocí en el México de los años setenta y volví a ver en Barcelona y Blanes en los noventa, nombrará una calle en Girona, la ciudad en donde pasó años formativos y de la siempre escribió con cariño.
El 18 de junio, Ignacio Echevarría, su mejor intérprete crítico, Bruno Montané, poeta que compartió con él el exilio en México y luego en Barcelona (es . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Published yesterday was Roberto Bolano’s collected nonfiction (about 99% of it), Between Parentheses. I’ll have a review of it eventually in The National, but for now I’ll point you to a list of recommended reading I extracted from Bolano’s voluminous recommendations. Among those is the remarkable short story “Enoch Soames” by Max Beerbohm, which you can either read . . . . . . continue reading, and add your comments
New Directions will publish Roberto Bolano’s collected nonfiction, Between Parentheses, in May. I’ve got a review of the book coming up, and as I read the book for the review, one of the most striking and enjoyable aspects of it was the sheer number of other writers Bolano exhorts you to read. You could get an entire education in Spanish-language literature just by reading the writers he recommends. So in that spirit, here are 17 books or authors Bolano recommends in Between Parentheses . . . . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The Guardian has been doing a pretty cool feature where they ask editors in various countries what the hot books are where they are. The most recent entry is Spain, and I thought I’d mention it here since there are some pretty strong resonances with coverage in recent issues of The Quarterly Conversation. In particular, Antonio J. Rodríguez’s recent essay “A few keys to understanding Spanish contemporary fiction, and five authors to—at least—enjoy it.” . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Contributing editor Scott Bryan Wilson took me up on yesterday’s open invitation to pick some notable titles from this year’s coverage at The Quarterly Conversation. A few of these were actually published in late 2008, but they were books that I liked a great deal, so I’m leaving them on the list.
Ghosts – Cesar Aira (review)
This Nest, Swift Passerine – Dan Beachy-Quick (review)
The Skating Rink – Roberto Bolano (review)
Tracer – Richard Greenfield (review forthcoming)
Waste – Eugene Marten (review) The Mighty Angel – . . . continue reading, and add your comments