Arab Today, arab today antwerp by roberto bolaño
Last Updated : GMT 08:52:09
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Antwerp by Roberto Bolaño

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Antwerp by Roberto Bolaño

London - Arabstoday

The eight years since the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s death have seen a steady stream of translations of his work and, although the chronology of publication and translation is often confusing, this new book, Antwerp, is something of a marker. It is, for us English readers, the last of the books that Bolaño published in his lifetime, which means that we now stand – give or take a few short stories – where his Spanish readers stood when he died. Although Antwerp was first published in 2002, it was originally written in 1980, long before Bolaño’s decisive shift from poetry to prose fiction. This makes it something of a curio, and a curio it undoubtedly is. A slim collection of 56 numbered sections that, if it is a novel, is a defiantly experimental one, eschewing plot and fixed perspective, blurring and muddling characters and generally ignoring the usual rules of literary endeavour. “Tell that stupid Arnold Bennet [sic] that all his rules about plot only apply to novels that are copies of other novels,” we are told. Of course, Bolaño pretty much broke all those rules in his other novels, but never with the bloody-minded intensity that he does here. His literary executor Ignacio Echevarría has called Antwerp the “Big Bang” of the writer’s fictional universe, and that’s an excellent way of putting it. Bolaño’s later themes are all present: the incompatibility of literature as a calling and the demands of normal, healthy life; sex; violence; sexual violence. Here too are his stock characters: heroically failed poets, shifty detectives, attractive young women. The plot, such as it is, circles around a murder outside a campsite on the Spanish coast, for which the nightwatchman, who may be called Roberto Bolaño, may be a suspect. A synopsis, section 20, helps, though not much: “The hunchback in the woods near the camp ground and the tennis courts and the riding school. In Barcelona a South American is dying in a foul-smelling room. Police dragnets. Cops who f--- nameless girls. The English writer talks to the hunchback in the woods. Death throes and an a------- from South America, on the road…” Many of the sections read like the descriptions of half-remembered movies, others have the tenor of a nightmare, with corridors “full of women with no mouths”. The prose is tricksy, the narrative flagrantly chopped about and allusive. You comb the text for clues – not to identity of the murderer, but to what is going on at all. To that extent, the title does offer a gentle interpretive nudge, in the form of a randomly inserted anecdote that begins: “In Antwerp a man was killed when his car was run over by a truck full of pigs.” It’s a neat summary of the vicious absurdity of life in Bolaño’s world view, conquerable only through literature, which is how those failed poets get to be written up as heroes. All of which means that Antwerp is a fascinating, even compulsory addition to the Bolaño fan’s bookshelf, but is in no way a recommended introduction to it, despite its brevity. The two great novels, The Savage Detectives and 2666, may be 20 or 30 times longer than this jagged little array of prose-poems, but they are also 10 times more readable. There, the pages just fly by; here you must crawl across them at a snail’s pace, stopping and ducking often, as the sentences whizz over your head like bullets.

arabstoday
arabstoday

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version

GMT 03:37 2017 Saturday ,08 April

Textbooks spell testing times
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today antwerp by roberto bolaño Arab Today, arab today antwerp by roberto bolaño

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today antwerp by roberto bolaño Arab Today, arab today antwerp by roberto bolaño

 



Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Zainab Fadel Oglu designs “Shakerin” mosque

GMT 12:13 2017 Thursday ,11 May

Zainab Fadel Oglu designs “Shakerin” mosque
Arab Today, arab today Seeks to move past rift with Israel

GMT 08:00 2017 Monday ,08 May

Seeks to move past rift with Israel

GMT 08:10 2017 Thursday ,27 April

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair launched

GMT 09:09 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Braille reading contest winners honoured

GMT 07:10 2017 Wednesday ,19 April

Deputy Premier patronises book launch

GMT 07:26 2017 Tuesday ,18 April

Abu Dhabi gears up for international book fair

GMT 12:19 2017 Friday ,14 April

Sharjah ruler launches book version

GMT 03:37 2017 Saturday ,08 April

Textbooks spell testing times
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mozambique's gas boom dream under threat

GMT 16:29 2017 Monday ,08 May

Mozambique's gas boom dream under threat
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Jaguar displays XF Sportbrake line

GMT 14:36 2017 Monday ,08 May

Jaguar displays XF Sportbrake line
Arab Today, arab today BMW sees forecasts in reach

GMT 09:04 2017 Thursday ,04 May

BMW sees forecasts in reach
Arab Today, arab today Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday