I've grown more and more interested in Roberto Bolaño's work since I read 2666. Many of his fans are applying for postumous cult status for him as a fantabulist, a magical realist, and that's all right, I suppose. But I don't think he's in the same class with the other Latin Americans ascribing to that literary sensibility; in fact he may be miscast there. He's more of a social realist clothed in mystery. Still, his work is unique, and he has a voice and literary style that sets him apart from any crowd. Most importantly, his writing allows readers to view the world through a different lens, and that's immanently valuable.
1.Next year marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Roberto Bolaño, the prolific genre-bender whose narratives and exile from Chile began seriously enchanting the literary world in 2005, the year The New Yorker began publishing his short stories. Altogether, nine stories have appeared in the magazine, including January’s “Labyrinth,” which accompanied a curious photograph. But I’ll get to that in a moment. First, a bit about Bolaño’s following, which may be credited in part to his early exit from said world at the age of 50, by way of liver failure. For the uninitiated, “Gomez Palacio,” his posthumous New Yorker debut about a tormented writer interviewing for a teaching post in a remote Mexican town, tends to work a kind of magic. A ragged copy of the issue in which “Gomez Palacio” appeared caught critic Francine Prose in a waiting room: “I was glad the doctor was running late,” she wrote later in reviewing Last Evenings on Earth, “so I could read the story twice, and still have a few minutes left over to consider the fact that I had just encountered something extraordinarily beautiful and (at least to me) entirely new.”
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.