November 14, 2008

Roberto Bolaño - "2666" in English

It's arrived! After various traumas with the Post Office my three volume, paperback boxed set of the US edition of "2666" has finally reached me (apologies for the quality of the picture).

I'm intrigued by "2666". All the hype suggests that it's Bolaño's masterwork, published posthumously to huge acclaim (which in itself can interfere with people's critical faculties). But my sister (who lived in Spain for a decade) also heard that it was in some way cobbled together by his family after his death, although this seems to be contradicted in a brief foreword. Certainly things seem to have taken a turn for the murky in the estate of Bolaño since Andrew Wylie took over, as this report suggests. I have to say that the more there is to read by him, the happier I am. May more books be discovered in dusty drawers for many years to come.

Incidentally, I also received New Directions' paperback of a selection of the man's poetry in a bilingual edition just yesterday (Bolaño's, not Wylie's, though I hear he writes a mean photocopier sonnet/bill). I looked at "The Romantic Dogs" late last night but my already weak critical faculties were subject to huge system overload and I have nothing of interest to report.

Talking of being tired, I want to apologise for the rather platitudinous ending to my not very revealing post on Harry Mathews. I wrote it just before I tried to read "The Romantic Dogs" and the whole Insight Thing was obviously in short supply.

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