Friday, January 18, 2008

"[P]erhaps the post-9/11 novel has, thus far, best been written by a Chilean."

Here’s a great article on Bolaño that especially makes me want to read By Night in Chile, which is sitting on my shelf anticipating my eyes as much as they anticipate its words. (It’ll probably get consumed on the plane to Vegas.):

The closing of this article is worthy of note:

"Perhaps this explains America's strange affinity for the work of Roberto Bolaño. After collectively experiencing a moment of terror, Americans are at a point where they must participate in creating the future of their country. As Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the Iraq fiasco make clear, the stakes are quite high, and Abu Ghraib in particular points us toward the consequences of acquiescence. They force us to contemplate, What will America look like for the next generation? Even beyond terrorism, looming issues like shoring up the Social Security system and the irreversible environmental deterioration caused by global warming are commonly couched in terms of bequeathing a mess to our children. To a very large degree, Americans are preoccupied with questions of what future they are passing on to the next generation. Bolaño shows us how these questions work on a personal level, and By Night in Chile especially shows us the enduring humanistic fibers that link our 9/11 to Chile's 9/11. There is much talk about Americans writing the post-9/11 novel these days, but perhaps the post-9/11 novel has, thus far, best been written by a Chilean."