29 July 2011

What happened in McNally Jackson on June 22?

This is mighty late to be linking to a report about an event (Natasha Wimmer's conversation with The Nation literary editor John Palatella) that happened more than a month ago. But it's always our pleasure ...

Natasha spoke about Bolaño in both a casual and academic way—she mentioned writing things like “B is totally crazy” next to passages where he ranted about other authors (“He really works himself up”), but also shared deeper  insights, like that his manic energy stems from his idea that “Real writers are on the edge of an abyss, but instead of this depressing him it filled him with glee.”

She spoke of how strange it was to get to know Bolaño not through writings about his personal life or family, but rather through writings about what literature affected him at different points of his life (for example, while impoverished in Barcelona, he apparently read up on the Napoleonic wars). From this she had to take “biographical clues,” some of which were misleading. 

The full report here from Book Stalker. And see also Elka Reads.

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