14 June 2011

A reading list from WWB

If you're compiling a reading list from Roberto Bolaño's Between Parentheses, you can find many of his recommended authors right here at WWB.
- Susan Harris, Words Without Borders

13 June 2011

A night between parentheses

BETWEEN PARENTHESES: Celebrating the Nonfiction of Roberto Bolaño
WITH: translator Natasha Wimmer, novelist Francisco Goldman, The Believer editor Heidi Julavits, Harper’s contributing editor Wyatt Mason, and The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein
MONDAY: June 13
DOORS: 7pm
START: 7:30pm
VENUE: Galapagos Art Space
ADDRESS: Brooklyn, NY 11201

08 June 2011

Literary brotherhood

In the previously linked interview with Enrique Vila-Matas, his answer to the last question, quoted below, reminds me of another mention of Bolaño as a "brother".

Vila-Matas: Meeting Bolaño in 1996 meant that I no longer felt alone as a writer. In that Spain, which was trapped in a provincialism and an antiquated realism, finding myself with someone who from the very first moment felt like a literary brother helped me to feel free and not consider myself as strange as some of my colleagues would have me believe. Or maybe it was the opposite: I was stranger still. We laughed together very much. We wrote letters to imbeciles and we talked of a beauty that was short-lived and whose end would be disastrous.

Here's Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra, author of Bonsai and The Private Lives of Trees, in an interview in June last year:

Q: What do you think of the Roberto Bolaño phenomenon in the US?

Zambra: I think what has happened with Bolaño is wonderful. His work deserves all the attention in the world and it’s impossible to exhaust it in one or two readings. On the contrary, we will be reading and re-reading his books for a long time to come. Bolaño is to me like an older brother whom I admire without reservations. I anxiously await his return from his travels so I can listen to his stories. I don’t want him ever to die. And don’t tell me he’s dead. I won’t believe you.

06 June 2011

Vila-Matas in Paris

I believe that fiction is the only thing that brings me closer to the truth that reality obscures. There remains to be written a great book, a book that would be the missing chapter in the development of the epic. This chapter would include all of those—from Cervantes through Kafka and Musil—who struggle with a colossal strength against all forms of fakery and pretense. Their struggle has always had an obvious touch of paradox, since those who so struggled were writers that were up to their ears in fiction. They searched for truth through fiction. And out of this stylistic tension have emerged marvelous semblances of the truth, as well as the best pages of modern literature.
Enrique Vila-Matas, interviewed by Scott Esposito about his third translated book Never Any End to Paris, for The Paris Review Daily