Excerpt from Tres published in BOMB magazine

BOMB magazine have published an excerpt from Laura Healy’s forthcoming translation of Bolaño’s poetry collection Tres. The poem was online for a limited time and has since been taken down from their site. We have it here though. Pre-order the collection HERE, published by New Directions in September 2011.

31. I dreamt that Earth was finished. And the only
human being to contemplate the end was Franz
Kafka. In heaven, the Titans were fighting to the
death. From a wrought-iron seat in Central Park,
Kafka was watching the world burn.

32. I dreamt I was dreaming and I came home
too late. In my bed I found Mário de Sá-Carneiro
sleeping with my first love. When I uncovered them
I found they were dead and, biting my lips till they
bled, I went back to the streets.

33. I dreamt that Anacreon was building his castle
on the top of a barren hill and then destroying it.

34. I dreamt I was a really old Latin American
detective. I lived in New York and Mark Twain
was hiring me to save the life of someone without
a face. “It’s going to be a damn tough case, Mr.
Twain,” I told him.

35. I dreamt I was falling in love with Alice Sheldon.
She didn’t want me. So I tried getting myself killed
on three continents. Years passed. Finally, when I
was really old, she appeared on the other end of the
promenade in New York and with signals (like the
ones they use on aircraft carriers to help the pilots
land) she told me she’d always loved me.

36. I dreamt I was 69ing with Anaïs Nin on an
enormous basaltic flagstone.

37. I dreamt I was fucking Carson McCullers in a
dim-lit room in the spring of 1981. And we both felt
irrationally happy.

38. I dreamt I was back at my old high school
and Alphonse Daudet was my French teacher.
Something imperceptible made us realize we were
dreaming. Daudet kept looking out the window
and smoking Tartarin’s pipe

39. I dreamt I kept sleeping while my classmates
tried to liberate Robert Desnos from the Terezín
concentration camp. When I woke a voice was
telling me to get moving. “Quick, Bolaño, quick,
there’s no time to lose.” When I got there, all I
found was an old detective picking through the
smoking ruins of the attack.

40. I dreamt that a storm of phantom numbers was
the only thing left of human beings three billion
years after Earth ceased to exist.

41. I dreamt I was dreaming and in the dream
tunnels i found Roque Dalton’s dream: the dream
of the brave ones who died for a fucking chimera.

42. I dreamt I was 18 and saw my best friend at
the time, who was also 18, making love to Walt
Whitman. They did it in an armchair, contemplating
the stormy Civitavecchia sunset.

43. I dreamt I was a prisoner and Boethius was
my cellmate. “look, Bolaño,” he said, extending
his hand and his pen in the shadows:
“they’re not trembling! they’re not
trembling!” (after a while,
he added in a calm voice: “but they’ll tremble when
they recognize that bastard Theodoric.”)

44. I dreamt I was translating the Marquis de Sade
with axe blows. I’d gone crazy and was living in the

45. I dreamt that Pascal was talking about fear with
crystal clear words at a tavern in Civitavecchia:
Miracles don’t convert, they condemn, he said.

46. I dreamt I was an old Latin American detective
and a mysterious Foundation hired me to find the
death certificates of the Flying Spics. I was traveling
all around the world: hospitals, battlefields, pulque
bars, abandoned schools.

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Fiction: The Paris Review to publish ‘The Third Reich’

The Spring Issue of The Paris Review is to publish ‘The Third Reich’. It will be the PR’s first serialization of a novel in 40 years, and will come complete with illustrations.

Read More….

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Further Reading: Bolaño’s Library

Moby Lives, the blog of Melville House Publishing who published The Last Interview & Other Conversations, ran a 2-week series called “What Bolaño Read”. It is a very useful introduction to the reading habits of a man with an insatiable appetite for literature.
Below are some of his favourites:

  • Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  • The complete works of Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  • The Invention of Morel – Adolfo Bioy Casares
  • Nadja – André Breton
  • Philosophical Dictionary – Voltaire
  • The Waste Books – Georg Christoph Lichtenber
  • The Temple of Iconoclasts – Juan Rodolfo Wilcock
  • Imaginary Lives – Marcel Schwob
  • The Burning Plain – Juan Rulfo
  • Pedro Páramo – Juan Rulfo
  • Bartleby & Co. – Enrique Vila-Matas
  • Montano’s Malady – Enrique Vila-Matas
  • Your Face Tomorrow (Series) – Javier Marías
  • The Speed of Light – Javier Cercas
  • The Soldiers of Salamis – Javier Cercas
  • Complete Works & Other Stories – Augusto Monterroso
  • Antipoems: How to Look Better & Feel Great – Nicanor Parra
  • Hopscotch – Julio Cortázar
  • A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  • Ubu Roi – Alfred Jarry
  • Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
  • The Castle and The Trial – Franz Kafka
  • The Tractatus – Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Satyricon – Petronius
  • Pensées – Blaise Pascal

Read more….

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The Translators: Audio Interview & Reading with Natasha Wimmer

Natasha Wimmer discusses translating Bolaño’s major novels and reads a translation in progress from Entre Parentesis (Between Parentheses).

Listen here….

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Essay: ‘An Afternoon With Huidobro and Parra’ by Roberto Bolaño

Afterwards I feel something tugging at my pants. Huidobro’s ghost? No, it’s Parra’s cats, six or seven stray cats who every afternoon come to the garden of the greatest living poet of the Spanish language to eat his food. ‘

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‘Dear Ruffinelli’: A letter from Bolaño

 I must have met Alcira in 1970 and the last time I saw her was probably in 76. I didn’t know about her death. In fact, a young Chilean writer named Matías Ellicker traveled to Uruguay, it’ll be a couple of years or a year and a half now, intent on following her trail, and he met her sister, who told him Alcira had been admitted to an asylum.”

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The Bolaño Syllabus at The Millions

“We continue to feel, hype notwithstanding, that this is one of the most important authors to emerge in the last decade, and we’ll try to stay on top of the work yet to appear: an essay collection, a book of poetry, and The Sorrows of the Real Policeman (a.k.a. the ” sixth part of 2666″)”

Read More….

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