Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 5.56.49 PMInterview with Tobias Carroll at Vol. 1 Brooklyn

From the piece, by Tobias Carroll: “It’s been a decade since Natasha Wimmer’s translation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 was first published in the United States. Given this amount of time, several writers have begun exploring the impact and influence of Bolaño’s bibliography, with a particular focus on this mammoth work. That’s the case with Jonathan Russell Clark’s An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom, which does an excellent job of explaining why Bolaño’s work continues to resonate today, even as it also critiques aspects of it that haven’t aged as well. I asked Clark about the origins of the book, the process of writing it, and what unlikely literary facts can emerge when exploring Bolaño’s body of work.” Continue reading…

Bibliotekarien_konserverad_-_Skoklosters_slott_-_97136.tifOn Benno von Archimboldi | The Believer Logger

If Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is a circular novel, then the figure of Benno von Archimboldi, along with the city of Santa Teresa, resides at its elusive center. He is the Nobel novelist par excellence, the prototypical long-obscure, sure-to-be-lately-recognized writer. For most of the novel, his existence remains peripheral and mysterious, and his entrance, in the book’s final section, does little to elucidate his enigmas. So how does one proceed into Archimboldi as a character in 2666? What is the best way to determine his metaphorical place in the novel? One way would be the way any writer would want to be investigated: through the work. Continue reading…

Étienne_Carjat,_Portrait_of_Charles_Baudelaire,_circa_1862
On Charles Baudelaire’s “Le Voyage” | Full Stop

Full Stop excerpted my book on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666:

2666 begins with a quote—a fragment, really—from the 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire: “An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom.” Though the epigraph only cites Baudelaire’s name, the line comes from Geoffrey Wagner’s translation of the poem “Le Voyage,” from Baudelaire’s seminal work Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil) (1857). Innovative, daring, and utterly original, Baudelaire laid the groundwork for modernism—he is, in fact, credited with coining the term “modernity”—with his sexually frank and morally ambiguous verse. He also raised some predictable controversies: six of his poems were deemed outrage aux bonnes mœurs (“insult to public decency”) and suppressed. One can easily imagine what a self-styled renegade like Bolaño would admire in a figure like Baudelaire. Continue reading…