Friday, February 10, 2006

Roberto Bolano

This is the new Chilean author, i discovered last week. I read his novel " A distant Star"(Estrella distante).The story is about the turbulence in the literary world of Chile during the days of military dictatorship. A number of authors like Mario Vargas Llosa, Julia alvarez, Augusto Roa bastos and Migues Angel Asturias have written about dictatorships and the trauma suffered by the society in latin America. But the " distant star" focusses exclusively on the literary scenario, covering ,of course, the murders and disappearances. Bolano himself was a victim and was put in jail and thereafter in exile.
Carlos Wieder, the main character in the novel, is an enigmatic and cruel force moving between the deadly oppressive apparatus of the state and the vulnerable groups of writers.Bolano has made it more interesting with some suspense and thrill.His humour is subtle. His erudition shows in the numerous references to other writers and ideas.But no romance or magical realism. Bolano disliked magical realism going to the extent of saying " It stinks ". He did not like Isabel Allende, the other famous Chilean writer.

I am looking forward to reading more works by him.

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