‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Posts Tagged ‘roberto bolano

Return of Roberto Bolano

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poemswithoutpoets-109I’ve picked up my copy of Roberto Bolano’s 2666. I had previously taken a break from this massive tome as a result of increased readings and coursework.  2666 was my Christmas read but at a staggering 893 pages I was interrupted with the return of classes. But, I like to think that I’m simply paying homage to Bolano by reading his epic the way he intended it to be read.


Realizing that death might be near, Roberto left instructions for his novel 2666 to be published divided into five books corresponding to the five parts of the novel, specifying the order in which they should appear, at what intervals (one per year), and even the price to be negotiated with the publisher. With this decision, communicated days before his death by Roberto himself to Jorge Herralde, Roberto thought he was providing for his children’s future.

After his death, and following the reading and study of his work and notes by Ignacio Echevarria (a friend Roberto designated as his literary executor), another consideration of a less practical nature arose: respect for the literary value of the work, which caused us, together with Jorge Herralde, to reverse Roberto’s decision and publish 2666 first in full, in a single volume, as he would have done had his illness not taken the gravest course. – 2666 – Roberto Bolano – Farrar, Straus, and Giroux New York 2008

In the long run, a 4 month delay between readings does not seem such a bad thing considering he initially requested that this book be separated into specific parts and distributed separately in each year. I stopped at page 351 which begins Part IV: The Part About the Crimes, which makes up the longest section of the novel. Some of the characters have become a bit fuzzy, but their peculiarities and nuances have started to return. A full review will follow shortly.

Written by thebeliever07

April 23, 2009 at 7:35 am

More Roberto Bolano

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If you’ve been reading the blog the past few weeks, then you are aware of the fact that I have been battling with Roberto Bolano’s posthumously released epic novel 2666. An update, I’m on page 363 of this 898 beast. Still a ways to go but I shall persevere and I am enjoying it immensely.

o_roberto-bolanoI thought I would provide a nice introduction into his work, enjoy:

7 short stories by Roberto Bolaño Gómez Palacio, The Insufferable Gaucho, Álvaro Rousselot’s Journey, Phone Calls, Dance Card. From Nazi Literature in the Americas: Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce, Luz Mendiluce Thompson & Ernesto Pérez Masón and The Fabulous Schiaffino Boys. If you know the fiction of Roberto Bolaño you know what you’re in for. If you don’t, any of these stories is a good place to start, though the first three are perhaps the most natural starting points.

Written by thebeliever07

January 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Six Degrees of Wiki:

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I was reading 2666 by Roberto Bolano and I decided to take a break and read a bit of his biography on-line over at Wikipedia. It’s amazing to see how far you can click away from your original goal in wikipedia, so I thought I’d share how far my clicking adventures took me. I’m sure we’ve all done this a few times. The next time you find yourself on wikipedia doing something similar, chronicle the event, you’ll be surprised how far it takes you away.

1. Wikipedia.

2. Roberto Bolano

3. “The Caracas Speech,” Roberto Bolaño accepting the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, translated in Triple Canopy

4. Situationism

5. Situationist International

6. Lettrism

7. Isidore Isou

I started out reading “The Caracas Speech” which referenced Situationism, which then led onto and so on, etc.

It’s amazing how far I ventured outside of my original intention, a brief biography. Wikipedia is notoriously “wikid” (oh puns) this way. Just thought I’d share, cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

December 24, 2008 at 6:28 pm

A Passage:

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Every once in awhile you stumble upon an image or scene in a novel that makes you smile. The passage below has kept me smiling all morning. Enjoy.

Feel free to share a passage from something you’re reading right now or have read in the past that has affected you in a similar way. Cheers.

As Calvin Tomkins writes: As a wedding present for his siter Suzanne and his close friend Jean Crotti, who were married in Paris on April 14, 1919, Duchamp instructed the couple by letter to hang a geometry book by strings on the balcony of their apartment so that the wind could “go through the book, choose its own problems, turn and tear out the pages.”


As Duchamp later told Cabanne, “It amused me to bring the idea of happy and unhappy into readymades, and then the rain, the wind, the pages flying, it was an amusing idea.”


According to Tompkins: Duchamp told one interviewer in later years that he had liked disparaging “the seriousness of a book full of principles,” and suggested to another that, in its exposure to the weather, “the treatise seriously got the facts of life.” – 2666 – Part II: The Part about Amalfitano – Pg. 191 – Roberto Bolano –

Written by thebeliever07

December 19, 2008 at 11:16 am


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So I finished my paper. It turns out it was not a minimum of 20, it was 15-20 pages. Sadly I only managed to get to the end of page 14, but it is a quality paper and I’m pleased. I would not have been able to endure the past week without Miss Erin so a hearty thank you to her, huzzah!

I’m done for the term and now I can relax a bit.

I’ve watched a number of films the past few days, distractions for the paper I did not want to write at the time.



Starring Sean Penn and James Franco, this film centers around Harvey Milk one of the California’s first openly gay politicians. Set in the 70’s, the film is entertaining and it does open you eyes, as it should, to the difficulties that minorities face and the type of blatant bigotry and hatred that exists in our society, something we’re still dealing with. I use the word minorities, b/c this film touches on  number of issues (union, feminist rights, racial, etc)  not simply those that affect homosexuals.

This will definitely be an Oscar contender, whether it wins will be another matter all together. Penn’s performance tugs at the heart and he really gets inside of this character. Paul, as much as you hate homosexuals who meet an untidy end, usually through a form of extreme violence and/or degradation of some kind, this cannot be avoided in the film as there is history that they must follow. Harvey Milk was brutally murdered at work one day in City Hall. It is a difficult scene to watch, but I think it’s important to show that this type of thing occurred and still does to that part of our society and we should be attuned to these types of social issues, it effects all of us when it effects any part of our society.

Gran Torino


Directed and Starring Clint Eastwood, this film is about connections and a clash of cultures.  Clint stars as Wally, a recent widower who is unable to connect with his family, yet somehow through a series of neighborhood events, becomes caught up inside a gang war. His next door neighbors are from South-East Asia and its a film that I think beautifully portrays the misconceptions that people have about other cultures.  Forces you to admit that we all have these social stigmas and bias tendencies towards culture and people that we are unfamiliar with. I want to share more but its a short film and to reveal more would ruin it. This will also be an Oscar contender, though it is unlikely to win. One criticism is that the relationship between Clint’s character and his next door neighbors occurs a bit too rapidly, but for the sake of a film they cannot avoid it without stretching out the length of time that occurs in the film. Worth checking out though, will not be a waste of your money at the theatre, will leave you smiling. One of the best parts is the old 1940’s racial slang that Clint puts into his character Wally, most of it is offensive but in a way that you sort of just grin and bear, as it is from a generation that was much different from ours.

The Day the Earth Stood Still


Finally a role that allows Keanu Reeves to really make use of his dead-pan stare acting technique. A re-working of a film that probably should have been left alone to begin with, it is still entertaining. There is a large ECO-message that works and yet sort of feels a bit too in your face a times, as if we’re being hit with a hammer to confront these issues. Earth must redeem itself and prove that it is worth saving, this is the essential story line, we must explain ourselves to the aliens who have come to destroy us. The effects of this film are spectacular and its a fast paced thriller, full of action. What to watch out for: Will Smith’s son, Jaden who plays the most horribly precocious child since Dakota Phanning, watching the U.S. Government behave in the most absurd ways, continually making stupid mistake after stupid mistake, oh wait, maybe thats not something thats too far off from the truth. If you’re wanting something fun, its worth checking out, though probably better off waiting for the rental. The best part of the film is sadly the shortest, John Cleese as a scientist, in one of his most serious roles, it’s good times. This film is much like the recent adaptation of H.G. Wells’s War of the World, but wait, while that film was kind of shitty in large part to Tom Cruise’s under-acting, this film has all the fun and action of that film, minus the Cruise, just insert Keannu, and as shitty as he is as an actor he’s much better than Cruise.


Now that the Christmas break is here and I have some time to relax, I shall be jumping into my Christmas Read, and it is a large one. Roberto Bolano’s 2666 a sprawling story of Academics in a hunt to track down a reclusive author along the likes of (Salinger, or Pynchon), interestingly enough this is written in a very Pynchonian way, has some echoes, maybe not as playful, more somber, but still very much a story about lives that cross one another and stories built upon stories inside of stories. Divided into 5 parts, at a massive 896, I’m only about 115 pages in, but loving every moment. To be reviewed later. Cheers.

More to come…

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Just finished Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, will write a more thorough review tomorrow at some point.

Should have been working on my paper, but instead I finished the last one hundred pages of this novel. Ah well, sometimes you just have to do that. I hit a point in the book where I could not stop and thus forced myself to stay awake despite being tired and sleepy. It was worth it though. Book is a blend of The Great Gatsby & Catcher in the Rye, a meditation on love and relationships at the tail end of our teen years as we begin to become more responsible as adults. Murakami truly has a way with words. Worth checking out.

Just started a new project for the Christmas holiday. It looks to be quite daunting at a mighty 893 pages, but 2666 by Roberto Bolano is what I shall be devoting myself to for the next few weeks. I’m about 40 pages in already, so huzzah. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

December 9, 2008 at 12:45 am