Roberto Bolaño

Roberto BolañoRoberto Bolano digital image by Fung Lin Hall

Álvaro Rousselot’s Journey (New Yorker Fiction Nov 26, 2007 – my introduction to his work and I intend to read more.)

Vagabonds:Roberto Bolaño and his fractured masterpiece by Daniel Zalewski from the New Yorker.

Bolaño began submitting short stories to state-sponsored contests around Spain; when a story won prize money, he would retitle it and submit it to another competition, which it would also win. (Similar mischief is detailed in his darkly witty story “Sensini.”) When he was thirty-eight, Bolaño learned that his liver was severely compromised, and he began writing with unrelenting concentration; starting in 1996, he published one or more books a year.

Obit from Guardian Chilean creator of ‘infrarealism’

Another one

Bolaño wasn’t shy about revealing that he lived a hard life in his wanderings. His nutrition, dental care, and smoking habit were bad enough that he lost nearly all his teeth on the way, and he joked he left them scattered throughout Latin America the same way Hansel and Gretel left a trail of bread crumbs in the forest.

Pagina Official (Multimedia page in Spanish)

Comparison to Borges from here.

Another Borges and Bolano

Bolano on youtube (Spanish only)
This Spanish page has great Photos

Self Portrait at Twenty Years

I set off, I took up the march and never knew
where it might take me. I went full of fear,
my stomach dropped, my head was buzzing:
I think it was the icy wind of the dead.
I don’t know. I set off, I thought it was a shame
to leave so soon, but at the same time
I heard that mysterious and convincing call.
You either listen or you don’t, and I listened
and almost burst out crying: a terrible sound,
born on the air and in the sea.
A sword and shield. And then,
despite the fear, I set off, I put my cheek
against death’s cheek.
And it was impossible to close my eyes and miss seeing
that strange spectacle, slow and strange,
though fixed in such a swift reality:
thousands of guys like me, baby-faced
or bearded, but Latin American, all of us,
brushing cheeks with death.

—Roberto Bolaño
(translated from the Spanish by Laura Healy)

Looking for Archimboldi 2666, Roberto Bolano, 2008

This last novel of Chilean writer Bolano was published posthumously in Spanish in 2004.
Part one is the most entertaining, containing a wonderful look at the strange, sometimes irrelevant world of academics. Four professors of German, an Italian, a Spaniard, and Frenchman, and and Englishwoman have all built their academic careers and reputations writing articles about the obscure German writer Archimboldi whom no one other than his publisher seems to have met and for which no picture exists.