roberto bolano

Bhanu Kapil's Book List


Dark Archive (Laura Mullen)

The Network (Jena Osman)

Negro Marfil/Ivory Black (Miriam Moscana/Trans. Jen Hofer)

Prairie Style (C.S Giscombe)

Poetics of Trespass (Erik Anderson)

Lana Turner: 4 (Juliana Spahr and David Buuck: Fiction: plus Tariq Ali essay)

The Vicious Red Relic, Love (Anna Joy Springer)

Hunger (Amina Cain)

For Want and Sound (Melissa Buzzeo)

The Ravickians (Renee Gladman)

The Paris Review: 198 (for Roberto Bolano and Lydia Davis)

Books that haven’t been written yet:  

Lucas De Lima’s alligator book

Teresa Carmody’s novel set in the North West

Melissa Buzzeo’s “Chasm.”  


Y Cesárea me miró mientras caminábamos y dijo que aquí ya no tenía nada. ¿Te has vuelto loca?, le dije. ¿Te has trastornado, Cesárea? Aquí tienes tu trabajo, tienes tus amigos, Manuel te aprecia, yo te aprecio, Germán y Arqueles te aprecian, el general no sabría qué hacer sin ti. Tú eres una estridentista de cuerpo y alma. Tú nos ayudarás a construir Estridentópolis, Cesárea, le dije. Y entonces ella se sonrió, como si le estuviera contando un chiste muy bueno pero que ya conocía y dijo que hacía una semana había dejado el trabajo y que además ella nunca había sido estridentista sino real visceralista. Y yo también, dije o grité, todos los mexicanos somos más real visceralistas que estridentistas, pero qué importa, el estridentismo y el realismo visceral son sólo dos máscaras para llegar a donde de verdad queremos llegar. ¿Y a dónde queremos llegar?, dijo ella. A la modernidad, Cesárea, le dije, a la pinche modernidad.

El movimiento estridentista, de Germán List Arzubide. Portada por Ramón Alva de la Canal, 1925.

Probably all of us, writers and readers alike, set out into exile, or at least into a certain kind of exile, when we leave childhood behind. Which would lead to the conclusion that the exiled person or the category of exile doesn’t exist, especially in regards to literature. The immigrant, the nomad, the traveler, the sleepwalker all exist, but not the exile, since every writer becomes an exile simply by venturing into literature, and every reader becomes an exile simply by opening a book.
—  “Exiles,” Roberto Bolaño
Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.
—  Roberto Bolaño, born today in 1953
Dobbiamo essere responsabili. Questo l'ho detto per tutta la mia vita. Abbiamo l'obbligo morale di essere responsabili delle nostre azioni e anche delle nostre parole e persino dei nostri silenzi, sì, dei nostri silenzi, perché pure i silenzi salgono in cielo e li ascolta Dio e solo Dio li capisce e li giudica, sicché dobbiamo prestare molta attenzione ai silenzi. Io sono responsabile di tutto. I miei silenzi sono immacolati.
—  Roberto Bolaño, Notturno cileno (prima edizione Sellerio, traduzione di Angelo Morino)
He told me that he wrote poetry, too, and he wanted the poet to read his poems. There was no need to ask to know that he was gay and very lonely. Let me see them, I said, and I pulled the notebook out of his hands. His poems weren’t bad. His only problem was that he wrote just like the poet. These things can’t have happened to you, I said, you’re too young to have suffered this much. He made a gesture as if to say that he didn’t care whether I believed him or not. What matters is that it’s well written, he said. No, I told him, you know that isn’t what matters.
—  Roberto Bolaño - from 2666