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An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom: Roberto Bolano's 2666 (...Afterwords)

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After devouring 2666 by Roberto Bolano on the New York City subway, Jonathan Russell Clark does what any good literary critic would do--he reads everything by Bolano he can get his hands on. But the more he learns about the writer's unlikely life, the less it makes sense. Bolano cultivated ambiguities and false identities, almost as if he were laying a trap for his future After devouring 2666 by Roberto Bolano on the New York City subway, Jonathan Russell Clark does what any good literary critic would do--he reads everything by Bolano he can get his hands on. But the more he learns about the writer's unlikely life, the less it makes sense. Bolano cultivated ambiguities and false identities, almost as if he were laying a trap for his future biographers. Clark's investigation into Bolano's magnum opus is a stumble through a labyrinth where fiction and self-mythologizing converge. This book is part of a new series from Fiction Advocate called Afterwords.


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After devouring 2666 by Roberto Bolano on the New York City subway, Jonathan Russell Clark does what any good literary critic would do--he reads everything by Bolano he can get his hands on. But the more he learns about the writer's unlikely life, the less it makes sense. Bolano cultivated ambiguities and false identities, almost as if he were laying a trap for his future After devouring 2666 by Roberto Bolano on the New York City subway, Jonathan Russell Clark does what any good literary critic would do--he reads everything by Bolano he can get his hands on. But the more he learns about the writer's unlikely life, the less it makes sense. Bolano cultivated ambiguities and false identities, almost as if he were laying a trap for his future biographers. Clark's investigation into Bolano's magnum opus is a stumble through a labyrinth where fiction and self-mythologizing converge. This book is part of a new series from Fiction Advocate called Afterwords.

30 review for An Oasis of Horror in a Desert of Boredom: Roberto Bolano's 2666 (...Afterwords)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tobias

    A sharply written examination of 2666, delving into both its themes and its reception upon publication in the US.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Gallaway

    2666 is a novel ten years after reading it that I still think about regularly (especially the fourth part, about the killings), both in terms of its scope/ambition, and its failures, e.g., I hated the fifth part and often felt like the homophobic language was gratuitous. But I digress. This book *about* 2666 is a perfect way to revisit the novel with a sure-footed guide who offers great insight into what the book is about and the author who wrote it. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Goff

    After reading Roberto Bolano's epic "2666" like with many great books at the end of it I wanted desperately to discuss it. Well I didn't have that option, so I did the next best thing. I got this book by Jonathan Russell Clark who has taken on the unenviable task of breaking down this vast novel. I think the problem Clark runs into is that 2666 is such a overwhelming and at times unorthodox novel, it can prove to be an effort in futility to try and make sense of the work as a whole. I enjoyed Cl After reading Roberto Bolano's epic "2666" like with many great books at the end of it I wanted desperately to discuss it. Well I didn't have that option, so I did the next best thing. I got this book by Jonathan Russell Clark who has taken on the unenviable task of breaking down this vast novel. I think the problem Clark runs into is that 2666 is such a overwhelming and at times unorthodox novel, it can prove to be an effort in futility to try and make sense of the work as a whole. I enjoyed Clark's analysis but felt he was reaching a bit in spots concerning Bolano's supposed motives. A slight criticism though, this was a fun book to read and where Clark succeeded is discussing Bolano's view of himself as a reclusive author and his subsequent placing in literary history. I think 2666 will mean many different things to many different readers. There is no concise answer to the question "What does it all mean?" Probably the best thing in here is Bolano's favorite 16 books of all time. Who wants to start a book club and read all 16 of those!? I'm down.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Orndorff

    This is a fun little book. His experience reading 2666 resonates with me throughout, but it sometimes veers more into recapping than literary study. Still, there's some great biographical analysis that places Bolaño into context. Clark also does well to critique the towering author for his misogyny, but I think Bolaño had put so much violence against women into his masterpiece because he seems to suggest this is humanity's greatest obstacle -- admiting the harms and challenging them. To me, this This is a fun little book. His experience reading 2666 resonates with me throughout, but it sometimes veers more into recapping than literary study. Still, there's some great biographical analysis that places Bolaño into context. Clark also does well to critique the towering author for his misogyny, but I think Bolaño had put so much violence against women into his masterpiece because he seems to suggest this is humanity's greatest obstacle -- admiting the harms and challenging them. To me, this is why that section of 2666 reads so distanced. Bolaño was a detective. and Clark is an attentive Watson.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris Herron

    Gay book

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    A short punchy précis of 2666 puncturing a few myths on the way ( his heroin addiction and presence in Chile during the Pinochet coup the most notable )

  7. 4 out of 5

    D.F. Lovett

    One of my favorite works of literary criticism I've read. A must-read for fans of 2666. One of my favorite works of literary criticism I've read. A must-read for fans of 2666.

  8. 5 out of 5

    骆驼

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dimitris

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  11. 5 out of 5

    Seth Augenstein

  12. 4 out of 5

    Louis Wigley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dryden W. Cope

  14. 5 out of 5

    Curtis Freeman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  16. 4 out of 5

    jojo

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve H

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin Christophersen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin O'Donnell

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Laurent

  23. 5 out of 5

    Georgia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

  25. 5 out of 5

    AJ

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fiction Advocate

  27. 5 out of 5

    De Nov

  28. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Szestowicki

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

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