eBook Distant Star download

by Roberto Bolano

eBook Distant Star download ISBN: 1843430940
Author: Roberto Bolano
Publisher: New Directions; Translated from Spanish edition (2004)
Language: English
Pages: 160
ePub: 1216 kb
Fb2: 1281 kb
Rating: 4.1
Other formats: lrf lrf txt lit
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History and Criticism

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. For Victoria Ávalos and Lautaro Bolaño. What star falls unseen? WILLIAM FAULKNER

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. What star falls unseen? WILLIAM FAULKNER. So we took that final chapter and shut ourselves up for a month and a half in my house in Blanes, where, guided by his dreams and nightmares, we composed the present novel. My role was limited to preparing refreshments, consulting a few books, and discussing the reuse of numerous paragraphs with Arturo and the increasingly animated ghost of Pierre Ménard.

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The star of Roberto Bolaño's hair-raising novel Distant Star is Alberto Ruiz-Tagle, an air force pilot who exploits the 1973 coup to launch his own version of the New Chilean Poetry, a multimedia enterprise involving sky-writing, poetry, torture, and photo exhibitions.

This book represents Bolaño's views upon returning to Chile and finding a haven for the consolidation of power structures and . Roberto Bolaño, a Less Distant Star: Critical Essays. New York, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing, 2015. Ignacio López-Calvo, ed.

This book represents Bolaño's views upon returning to Chile and finding a haven for the consolidation of power structures and human right violation. It is important to note that this book was originally going to be called Tormenta de Mierda (Shit Storm in English) but was convinced by Jorge Herralde and Juan Villoro to change the name.

In the preface to Distant Star, Bolaño tells us that it is a development from the last chapter of one of his earlier books, his imaginary History of Nazi Literature in Latin America. There as here, the shadow of Jorge Luis Borges is obvious. But Bolaño is far less sure of himself and the unsullied values of writing than the great Argentine writer ever was. To Bolaño, the writer is in the "cesspool of literature" and inevitably loses his innocence just by "sharing the same boat" with evil.

I can’t say I knew him well.

I can’t say I knew him well w him once or twice a week at the workshop. He wasn’t particularly talkative. I was. Most of us there talked a lot, not just about poetry, but politics, travel (little did we know what our travels would be like), painting, architecture, photography, revolution and the armed struggle that would usher in a new life and a new era, so we thought, but which, for most of us, was like.

The narrator’s distant relationship to Wieder means that no attempt to understand him beyond sorting the facts of his deeds from the rumors is ever done. He does not grow as a character from the moment is which he is first encountered

The narrator’s distant relationship to Wieder means that no attempt to understand him beyond sorting the facts of his deeds from the rumors is ever done. He does not grow as a character from the moment is which he is first encountered. The overall impression is that this book is written for one already familiar with the legends of Wieder’s life. Outside of that, there isn’t much of a hook to draw the reader’s interest. The events themselves build around the horrifying, but the actual horror is given so little notice within the story that it loses its power.

Distant Star by Roberto Bolaño (Estrella distante, 1996) translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews (2004) New Directions (2004) 150 pp. It’s been a few months since I read anything by Bolaño, but every time I finish a book my first urge is to pick up another of his. The only reason I don’t i. . The only reason I don’t is for the sake of variety and to make sure I can have some Bolaño left for the future. This month Monsieur Pain comes out, and in the Spring Antwerp comes out, both from New Directions here in the .

Distant Star is more typical of Bolaño’s other work if that matters to you at all while Nazi Literature in the . December: Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry. January: Something Will Happen, You’ll See. Join us if you want to. Recent Posts

Distant Star is more typical of Bolaño’s other work if that matters to you at all while Nazi Literature in the Americas is more idiosyncratic. Nazi Literature is also more satiric while Distant Star is more dramatic. Recent Posts. Lightning Strikes by Ned Crabb – Mystery in the countryside, US mode. Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry: I took the French leave. Fatima, or the Algerian ladies at the park by Leïla Sebbar – and before, their mothers.

Comments: (7)
An earlier, condensed version of DISTANT STAR appeared as the last story in Bolaño's "Nazi Literature in the Americas". Although I didn't particularly like "Nazi Literature", the book's last story, "The Infamous Ramírez Hoffman", captivated me. When, then, I picked up DISTANT STAR years later, I experienced a small frisson of excitement in realizing that it is a greatly expanded re-telling of "The Infamous Ramírez Hoffman", though the name of the monstrous Hoffman has been changed to Carlos Wieder.

Putting aside that personal experience, and without regard to the earlier Ramírez Hoffman story, DISTANT STAR is brilliant. An anonymous first-person narrator (who almost surely is the Arturo Belano who appears as the alter-ego of Bolaño in many of his works) recounts the story of Carlos Wieder. When he met Wieder around 1972, they were fellow students in two poetry workshops in Concepción in the socialist Chile of Salvador Allende. After the coup that put General Pinochet in charge, Wieder re-appeared as a pilot in the Chilean Air Force who via skywriting created poems in the sky (the motif that informs the tremendous cover of the book). Another aspect of Wieder's performance art from that time was an exhibition of snapshots of people that he had murdered, most of them women, including two sisters who had been fellow-students in those poetry workshops.

Going forward from 1974, the chief strand of DISTANT STAR traces news or rumors of Wieder over the years, including the time when he was involved in a French school of "barbaric writers", up to his quiet exile in Spain -- where, in unusual, tension-packed circumstances, the narrator sees him in a café just before Wieder's death. Two other strands track the subsequent lives of the two poets who led those workshops back in 1972. One, Juan Stein (a Jew and distant relative of the outstanding Soviet general Ivan Chernyakhovsky) went on to become a "Chilean terrorist" and global guerilla fighter for leftist causes. The other, Diego Soto, shuffled off to middle-class exile in Europe, until he was killed by some neo-Nazi youths in the train station in Perpignan, the same train station that is the setting for a famous (or infamous) painting by Salvador Dalí.

The novel is mesmerizing. In it, Bolaño found his voice. (His next novel was "The Savage Detectives".) On one level, it is a re-casting of the detective story. Along the way Bolaño includes numerous references to modern poets and writers (many of them unknown to me) from Latin America, Spain, and France, and the novel thereby appears to contain literary criticism of much Latin American and surrealist literature. It also is an unsettling picture of the turbulence of Pinochet's Chile as well as the resulting Chilean diaspora. I strongly suspect, further, that it constitutes critical commentary on the anti-humanistic aspects of much performance art and avant-garde art (including that of Salvador Dalí). Finally, in my view, it is a morality tale to the effect that evil is endemic in man.
This novel is so surreal (super real) that it makes it very disturbing to read. We, North Americans tend to want stories that have a clearly happy ending. We prefer not to know about evil people, and certainly don't want to know that evil people can go on and have a great life where no one knows how evil they have been.
Such is the case with Alberto Ruiz-Tagle (AKA Carlos Weider) who the narrator follows around and slowly learns that Weider did Pinochet's dirty work. He tortured many people who ended up in mass graves. The unnamed narrator becomes more and more obsessed with proving who this man is, even if only to himself. He, in fact, becomes so disturbed and paranoid with who Weider is and who he has become that he no longer trusts his best friend with the knowledge. Despite the fact that his poet friend, like he, are the opposite of Weider: they believe in justice and freedom and abhor the Right's idea that those who have their own mind, should be killed.
The narrator seems to be unable to go back to being that innocent, loving poet, especially after he realizes that Weider killed the beautiful twins that had parties for the Leftist Poets.
Weider (going by Ruiz-Tagle) tricked the women because he was a poet and they innately trust the poet as a person of great depth and beauty.
Personally, once I knew this man could kill two such kind souls, I hated the guy so much, I wanted him to die. I hoped the narrator would kill him, but alas, he does not have a murderer's heart so instead, he becomes more and more obsessed.
I almost wish I could undo what I read in this book. Sadly, many Latinos live with this knowledge everyday: Knowing a murderous torturer may be their neighbor, yet unable to do anything about it. This was a story that needed to be told.
Genre-bending novels are often the most interesting ones. Here we have political/literary crime fiction.
Though Roberto Bolaño wasn't a writer of 'crime fiction', this is a novel about a serial killer and mass murderer. The novel reads like a joint venture of Nabokov and Eric Ambler.
The atrocities committed by the Pinochet coup in Chile provide the historical framework. In a very short preface, the short novel is announced as an expanded chapter of Bolaño's own 'Nazi Literature in the Americas'. To me, it seems also like a possible chapter in his Savage Detectives, a fat novel that I liked a lot.
Bolaño was a specialist in mixing up 'real life' events and history with fictional characters, and with invented writings, in the tradition of Borges.
The subject here is murder and literature post Allende. The anti-hero is a charismatic and mysterious monster, a stunt pilot, a 'poet', a sadistic proponent of the school of 'barbaric writing'. He is also an officer and a gentleman, an undercover agent who spies on leftist student circles and then gets his kicks out of killing the people whom he had spied upon.
The story stretches in time and space: into Europe and towards the end of the century. The 'poet' has expanded into other genres, like science fiction and porn. An ex cop with a good professional name is paid a hefty sum by an unnamed source for finding the monster... No spoilers here.
The power of this novelette lies in its laconic tone and its briefness. Facts speak for themselves. There is no interpretation, explanation, condemnation. Bolaño was a writer of many pages, often far too many. He did better when he restricted the output of words, like here. He says very little about the main character's politics and instead focuses on his 'esthetics', his 'revolutionary poetry', his personal attractiveness.
Blackest satire, but also a monument to those who disappeared.