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Healing Through Words
Roberto Bolano's Fiction
An Expanding Universe801
Since the publication of The Savage Detectives in 2007, the work of Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) has achieved an acclaim rarely enjoyed by literature in translation. Chris Andrews, a leading translator of Bolano's work into English, explores the singular achievements of the author's oeuvre, engaging with its distinct style and key thematic concerns, incorporating his novels and stories into the larger history of Latin American and global literary fiction. Andrews provides new readings and interpretations of Bolano's novels, including 2666, The Savage Detectives, and By Night in Chile, while at the same time examining the ideas and narrative strategies that unify his work. He begins with a consideration of the reception of Bolano's fiction in English translation, examining the reasons behind its popularity. Subsequent chapters explore aspects of Bolano's fictional universe and the political, ethical, and aesthetic values that shape it. Bolano emerges as the inventor of a prodigiously effective "fiction-making system," a subtle handler of suspense, a chronicler of aimlessness, a celebrator of courage, an anatomist of evil, and a proponent of youthful openness. Written in a clear and engaging style, Roberto Bolano's Fiction offers an invaluable understanding of one of the most important authors of the last thirty years.
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In this superb volume of criticism... Andrews, the English translator of ten of Bolano's books, deftly analyzes the complex themes and narrative layers of Bolano's fictional universe...An indispensable guide to navigating the rich world of Bolano's fiction. Publishers Weekly Profusely documented and with a thorough bibliography, this full-length critical monograph is a great start to what will, one hopes, be a parade of analytical examinations of Bolano's works. Library Journal Written in a clear and engaging style, Robert Bolano's Fiction offers an invaluable understanding of one of the most important authors of the last thirty years. Biblioklept [An] elegantly written literary analysis. -- Lisa Locascio Salon A sharp and accessible guide to the literary style and narrative skills of this amazing novelist. Sacramento News and Review Andrews is not only the leading translator of Bolano's work into English but also one of the leading scholars of Bolano's fiction. CHOICE Andrews's book... is an ambitious and insightful take on what is sure to be an exciting area of study in the coming years. Rain Taxi [Andrews] examines Bolano's 'fiction-making system' and ethical patterns with graceful, accessible erudition. The analysis of Bolano's techniques helps us not only to understand our experience of reading him but also to fathom the writers he resonates with. -- Lorna Scott Fox Times Literary Supplement Chris Andrews writes very fine prose... This book isn't just a translator's homage to his author (Andrews's affection for Bolano is obvious but does not interfere with his analysis) but an exceptional work of scholarship. The Australian The most important contribution to this field of scholarship. The singularity of Andrews's book lies in its sophisticated and subtle reading of Bolano's opus as a whole... Superbly written and meticulously researched. Australian Book Review
Chris Andrews teaches at Western Sydney University, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Center. He has translated ten books by Roberto Bolano. His book Lime Green Chair won the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.
Acknowledgments Introduction List of Abbreviations Note on Translations 1. The Anomalous Case of Roberto Bolano 2. Bolano's Fiction-Making System 3. Something Is Going to Happen: Narrative Tension 4. Aimlessness 5. Duels and Brawls: Borges and Bolano 6. Evil Agencies 7. A Sense of What Matters Appendix: Victims in "The Part About the Crimes" (2666) and Huesos en el desierto Notes Bibliography Index