Sunday, January 04, 2009


Anyway, these ideas or feelings or ramblings had their own satisfactions. They turned the pain of others into memories of one's own. They turned pain, which is natural, enduring, and eternally triumphant, into personal memory, which is human, brief and eternally elusive. They turned a brutal story of injustice and abuse, an incoherent howl with no beginning or end, into a neatly structured story in which suicide was always held out as a possibility. They turned flight into freedom, even if freedom meant no more than the perpetuation of flight. They turned chaos into order, even if it was at the cost of what is commonly known as sanity.

- Roberto Bolano, 2666

Reading Bolano is a bit like swigging 15-year old scotch straight from the bottle. It's perverse and exhilarating and you come away from it with your head buzzing, your mouth taut and a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. In other words, an experience not to be missed.


Szerelem said...

I have heard so much praise for this book - and it is on my (ridiculously long) list of books to be read. But I loved your description best - I am more sold than ever.

Veena said...

Good to know.

Bolano is so everywere nowadays that I was beginning to question if it wasn't just hype.

Gargi Dixit said...


Anyways, I was reading Facial Justice the last weekend.

And I know it was the best i could get for the weekend, bashing the egalitarians and marxist feminist to the fullest.


Anonymous said...

What utter tripe ... the quote, of course.

Falstaff said...

szerelem: Thanks. Though I think it's only fair to warn you that 2666, while utterly brilliant, is also one of the most relentlessly brutal and soul-destroying books I've ever read. Think the style of Hemingway joined to the sensibility of the Book of Disquiet. I have to take a break every fifty pages or so just to breathe.

Veena: It isn't.

Gargi: Ummm....okay?

anon: Matter of opinion that.

Space Bar said...

Someone mentioned Pessoa.

I actually find the thing very comforting. It's my current I Ching; I guage the temperature of my day after my morning dip in it. Nothing soul-destroying about it at all, though of course it is both brilliant and brutal.