17 May 2011

"Beach" in Granta

"Beach", a Bolaño short story, is in the magazine Granta 114: Aliens. The story also appears in the collection Between Parentheses, edited by Ignacio Echevarría and translated by Natasha Wimmer. Subscription is required to access the story online, but an earlier translation appeared in Eyeshot (here) while the original Spanish is here.

A controversy surrounded the classification of the piece as fiction or nonfiction. "Playa" ("Beach") was initially classified as a nonfiction. It first appeared as one of the essays in Entre paréntesis. The story mentioned drug addiction which led some reviewers and critics to assume that Bolaño was once a drug user. Some write-ups appeared mentioning his alleged drug use. This addiction and the decadent life associated with it, as well as his eventual death from a liver disease, were said to have contributed to the "Bolaño myth." However, Bolaño's drug use was denied by his wife and close friends so this essay was now considered to be a work of fiction.

See also:

"A Chilean Writer’s Fictions Might Include His Own Colorful Past" by Larry Rohter, The New York Times

'Bolaño’s “The Beach” translated at Eyeshot in December' by Maud Newton

"The new Granta stokes the Roberto Bolano mystique" by Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette


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