Nazi literature in the americas by Roberto Bolano trans chris andrews

Bolano saves my reading block

Now last year when I read my first two Bolano books I knew I d started a wonderful journey with a truly unique writer ,Bolano grew up in Chile but then became a traveler of the world spending time in Mexico and eventually settling in Spain with a wife and Children ,his life has already become the stuff of myth so what is real and what has been elaborated on his hard to say so at least to say he died age 55 from liver problems ,He wrote a few time and mention in interviews his love of Jorge Luis Borges

The territory marking my generation is one of rupture. It is a highly rupturist generation, a generation that wants to leave behind not only the boom but what the boom has generated, which is a generation of very commercial writers. It is the territory of parricide on one hand. And on the other, it is the territory of the Borgesian. One must investigate every fringe, every path that Borges has left behind

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 the argentine master of the surreal now this book is an homage to the master ,the book consists of a number of short chapters ,then sub grouped in to groups each describing a different imagined writer with ultra right leaning ,this serve as as a perfect vehicle for describing the latin american history of the times ,and also the influx of people escaping the second world war and their influence on the literature of the second half of the 20th century ,we start with writer that have been directly involved with the german nazi party ,either promoting them in south america or going and fighting alongside the germans in germany and being feted for doing so  Then people post war that still want to keep alive the dreams of aryan nations ,through the upheavals and revolutions of the 60 and 70s with figure like Pinochet and Peron lingering in the background ,the skins culture of california is also touch on ,and latterly the link between football hooligans and the right-wing politics much echo in europe by books like the football factory and its ilk ,Bolano fills out the books these people have written just enough to make them seem real enough ,like Borges Bolano uses real events and imagined characters to weave the turbulent history of latin america and also latin american and european relations during this time .Theis book although a few years old still feels current there is a recent news story in peru about a character in tv program shows that racism and right-wing attitudes are still prevalent in latin america .Bolano was often at odds with writers of his own generation feeling they we re to influenced by the boom generation of Marquez and the other latin american boom writers  and not enough by Borges and the earlier generation of latin american writers ,this book is testament to what he said ,although not as acknowledge as 2666 or savage detectives it is maybe the best representation of what Bolano liked to read and the writers that influenced him .

winstons score –

like a anteater you get to digest this book in small chunks ,also Bolano ripped apart modern latin american lit like a anteater with a ant hill .

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 22:01:58

    This one sounds dense Stu, but somewhat appealing at the same time. Probably why you suggest digesting it in small chunks, so one can still enjoy but not feel overburdened.


  2. Stewart
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 22:10:04

    Aside from the pedantry of pointing out that Bolano died at fifty, rather than fifty-five, I just want to say that, yes, it’s quite an interesting book. I read it — I think — in December and much of it has stayed with me, so much so that I intend on writing it up myself. So perhaps a tiny refresh of some entries.

    I do sort of wish it was shorter than it was, because the biographies became a bit tiresome. But then, that’s partly the point, that dogma can find its place in a willing regime and so the more dogmatic, the more relevant and relentless it becomes to the cause.


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 18, 2010 @ 22:14:13

      will change that ll be my maths ,yes maybe in last two thirds ,but feels he picked it up a bit with the holigan writers ,all the best stu


  3. Frances
    Jun 20, 2010 @ 23:10:37

    Did not read in detail because this is one I really want to get to this year. Reading 2666 was one of the most wonderful reading experiences I have ever had, and I have since read a lot of poetry and the first novel, The Skating Rink which I also enjoyed. Have Monsieur Pain and The Return lined up for my immediate future.


  4. kiss a cloud
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 07:30:00

    Agree with Frances, 2666 was unbelievable! It was suggested to me to read the 5 parts of 2666 far apart so as not to feel overwhelmed but I think it would’ve worked even better for me if I’d read it all continuously as it was so suspenseful and unputdownable.

    Am so looking forward to reading this one, too..


  5. Tom C
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 07:13:18

    I just didn’t get this one I’m afraid. It seemed rather pointless – so much effort, so little reward! i realise I am alone in my opinion!


  6. Sarah
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 21:24:40

    I think that maybe I enjoy reading about Bolano more than actually reading him. This sounds great, the way you describe it, but I am recalling that 2666 left me a little frustrated…


  7. Sarah
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 21:26:31

    Meant to say (unapologetically shallow) that this book would be worth buying just for the cover. It is gorgeous, isn’t it?


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 28, 2010 @ 16:18:51

      yes it is a lovely cover think 2666 is the book to grow into after you ve read some of his others ,all the best stu


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June 2010


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