Nazi Literature in the Americas Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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'The author of 2666 collects a tricksy and satirical set of fictional obituaries of Nazis.' --Sunday Telegraph
‘Lucid, insane, deadly serious, wildly playful, biblomaniacal, and perversely imaginative’ Nicole KraussSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Fortunately, if you follow the biographical details of the authors carefully, it becomes clear that what could be fact is definitely fiction. While this is a relief, by that stage in the book the possibility of fact has emerged and I found myself wondering about the power of fiction and the role of literature in politics.
The most unsettling of the entries is `The Infamous Ramírez Hoffman'. This is a far longer entry and refers as well to a character named Bolaño who is asked to identify Ramírez Hoffman, a Chilean poet who had been employed by Pinochet's death squads. Here, for a moment at least, the line between fact and fiction is blurred. By introducing himself as a character, Roberto Bolaño grounds this novel in a way which is a confronting reminder of a political reality. And so, neatly, the circle is closed.
Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was a Chilean poet and novelist. This is the first of his books I have read. It was first published in Spanish in 1996 and in English in 2008. I will be seeking out his other novels.
Well here`s Bolano for Beginners. Everything Bolano apart from terrifying size : wit, melodrama, horror, history, brilliant characterisation, fake erudition, satire. Part Nabokov`s PALE FIRE, part Borges, part Spinrad`s IRON DREAM Iron Dream (Panther science fiction), part Michael Moorcock`s BYZANTIUM/JERUSALEM novels Byzantium Endures: Between the Wars Vol. 1, but wholly Bolano. Read this, it`ll take a couple of hours, get a taste of the genius, then get on to the hard stuff.
Bolaño's skill here is to allow these fragments of biography to conjure up an entire world in which political violence and literature are intimate bedfellows. The relevance of this perspective to Bolaño's own biography and the experience of many of his contemporaries is obvious, and perhaps one has to be Chilean or Argentinean to fully appreciate some of the ironies here. What is surprising is the way in which Bolaño is able to bring to life an entirely imaginary world through a host of casual details, and to make substantial points about the political and the literary worlds with considerable humour and without resorting to sledgehammer polemics. The 'monsters' he delineates are allowed the human dimensions - and the failures - that are necessary to make them human monstrosities rather than cartoons.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
... comes a premise too weird/good to resist: an invented encyclopaedia of make-believe fascist/Nazi writers; a series of biographical sketches/ compressed life stories of... Read morePublished on 30 Aug. 2012 by Andrew Sutherland
This is an odd book that presents a series of biographical accounts of fictional right wing authors in Latin America. Each chapter presents a figure, with sketchy detail. Read morePublished on 15 Nov. 2011 by R. Lawson
This is basically a concept novel. Well, I say "novel". This is basically a concept selection of thematically-linked short stories, many of which are so similar that two days... Read morePublished on 16 Oct. 2011 by Dr Dylan Mortimer
This collection of 30 odd " hagliographies"(obituaries of fictitious Pan American writers of the 20th Century) gives Bolano enormous scope for his imagination but perhaps due to my... Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2010 by Kiwifunlad
Convincly recreated biographies of imagined South American Natzi authors. This book takes magic realism and pushes it in a new profound direction. Quite hard to read.Published on 24 Sept. 2010 by pete
An odd book: ostensibly a collection of mischieviously sniping obituaries there is nevertheless an underlying thread linking all the characters, eventually forming a "sort of"... Read morePublished on 17 Aug. 2010 by Kevin Roche
I think it was an intellectual vanity that drew me to this book. I have read a little Jorge Luis Borges and I liked the idea of a fictional but coherent and self-contained world. Read morePublished on 4 July 2010 by F. Pearson