The Annotated Savage Detectives

From an interview with Natasha Wimmer:

Something peculiar about Bolaño is that he wanted to write what he called the “Total Novel.” By this he meant that he wanted all of his novels to be interconnected. So you’ll see some of the same characters pop up from novel to novel in different forms, but then you’ll also see those characters appear in his life. I’ve always thought that a fun thing to do would be to produce an annotated edition of The Savage Detectives. For example: there’s a group of young poets in The Savage Detectives called the visceral realists, but in real life Bolaño started a group called the Infrarealists in Mexico City. Some of the ex-Infrarealists have a website about their time in Mexico City with Bolaño. On it they posted bitter remarks about how Bolaño had sold out, how he should have stayed a poet, and how they were the true characters in the novel.

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Bolano’s old friends sound like a tiresome bunch.

I think this is a great idea. Sounds like its nowhere close to happening, and likely won’t happen, but I wish this was done with more books in translation. It would add great context and make the translation “richer” if that makes sense.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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