12 February 2012

I first met Roberto Bolaño

"I first met Roberto Bolaño through Andersen Tepper in The Village Voice. It was back in 2006, I was in Tehran, and Bolaño, who was by then already dead and a ghost, was standing on the page with two other authors from Latin America, Martinez and Galeano. The meeting so excited me that I had a friend who was traveling to Tehran buy me their books and bring them to me, because as you might or might not know, in Iran there are no bookstores selling books of literature in foreign languages (except one or two that sometimes get orders), and you can’t go online on Amazon or any other site and order the books, because either you don’t have a credit card, or if you have one, sanctions and regulations might prevent you from using it in the country of Axis of Evil, or even if you can pass through all these obstacles, there are still others: the books cannot be sent to an address in Iran, and even if they could, there would be no guarantee that they would survive the Iranian postal service inspections or irregularities and reach you."

– from "Reading Bolaño in Tehran" by Raha Namy, in The Quarterly Conversation

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