- Stray Questions for: Roberto Bolaño?!
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- Bolano: A Biography in Conversations (Hardcover) | BookPeople
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Stray Questions for: Roberto Bolaño?!
They are superiors, superior to the people who came after and, to be sure, to the writers of my generation. Books such as No One Writes to the Colonel are simply perfect. Since you read the Boom during its own time, your reading must have been from the perspective of a poet.
During that period, you were only writing poetry. Perhaps I have gaps in the way I look at the internal structures of a novel. I would have learned this sooner had I read with a different perspective. I always have an idea. Each time I begin to write a novel, I have a very elaborate structure in mind.
Very elaborate, yes. It relates to the elemental debt all prose writers have, which consists of cleaning a bit, trying to get close to language with open eyes and ears.
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Without going any further than Savage Detectives, there are phrases and whole paragraphs in it that seem to me to be very bad. They seem terrible to me. Your books are distinct approximations of a particular world, a world of writers and rather marginal people who are in between being obsessives and losers.
Your stories and novels also center around the same situations or the same characters. Your characters are crusaders for revolutionizing art and changing the world, which is the project of your generation. And reinventing love. At heart, to make life a work of art.
Bolano: A Biography in Conversations (Hardcover) | BookPeople
I feel enormous affection toward this project, notwithstanding its excesses, immoderations and deviations. The project is hopelessly romantic, essentially revolutionary, and it has seen the failure of many groups and generations of artists. Though, even now, our conception of art in the West is indebted to this vision. The truth for me—and I want to be very sincere—is that the idea of revolution had already been devalued by the time I was twenty years old. Soviet Union was a counterrevolution.
I never felt I had the support of the movement of history. To the contrary, I felt quite crushed. At some point in your life, we imagined that you were animated by great revolutionary ardor. You imagined it correctly. I was against everything. I even felt scared by the solitude entailed in radicalism. No, I feel like a survivor in a more literal sense. I am not dead. I say it like that because many of my friends have died, from armed revolutionary struggle, drug overdose, or AIDS.