Saturday, September 18, 2010

Travel Journals for Sleepwalkers: The Stories of Roberto Bolaño

For All the fans & followers Of Roberto Bolano, here is part of an article from Words without Borders. In it David Varno reviews two new translated story collections, "The Return", compiled from work that appeared during the authors lifetime & "The insufferable Gaucho" published posthumously". For more information, check out the Words without Borders link below.

Travel Journals for Sleepwalkers: The Stories of Roberto Bolaño

By David Varno

Ever since Last Evenings on Earth was released in paperback, I have developed the habit, which has become a mission, of reading each Bolaño book as it appears in English translation. There have been nine since then, and two were pretty large. Now that they’ve been consumed, and the two flashy covers are seen less frequently in New York City Subway cars, people question why I keep reading. “Why give in to the hype,” they say, or, “Tell me, why should I like Bolaño?” Someone just told me that he’s saving the remaining unread book by a favorite author because after he reads it, it will all be over. Fortunately for the fanatic, there are still books in the Bolaño archive that haven’t even been published, let alone translated.

Over the summer, two more translated collections appeared. The Return (June, New Directions), was put together from story collections that appeared during Bolaño’s lifetime, and The Insufferable Gaucho (August, New Directions) was first published posthumously. It contains longer stories, plus a lecture and an essay, and though it is slight, it is unlike anything that has appeared from Bolaño yet. There is a retelling of Borges’s “The South” and a story called “Police Rat,” which follows a sensitive sewer rat named Pepe the Cop, who fights evil and corruption. Much of Bolaño’s work makes reference to his favorite fiction writers and poets, but “The Insufferable Gaucho” goes further because it doesn’t merely summarize the Borges; Bolaño paints in an entirely new set of circumstances for Borges’s classic narrative of a doomed man who fantasizes a romantic and violent death.

Copyright 2010 David Varno

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Anonymous said...

I love bolano's work have read three of his books so far hope to work through the whole of his work over time this both look great if maybe his minor works ,there is meant be another novel at some point ,all the best stu

@parridhlantern said...

Just finished Nazi-lit & have Distant Star sat waiting for me to finish the book I'm reading (Rashomon & 17 other stories). Not yet found a Bolano I,ve not liked