Monday, June 07, 2010


Finally finished (or finally unfinished? as in "can never reach closure because the resonant effects of the literary frequency will always ring true, even when lost in translation ...") The Savage Detectives. I put off finishing it, slowly pacing myself as much possible so as to savor its sacrosanct hold over me, but then I found myself back in Kailua, dreaming new iterations of the "Foreign Film Series" and writing a new novel that has me by the balls and won't let up, so something had to give, and that something was Bolaño's book.

To celebrate, two Bolaño quotes:
He was an atheist and it had been years since he read a book, despite the fact that he had amassed a more than decent library of works in his specialty, as well as volumes of philosophy and Mexican history and a novel or two. Sometimes he thought it was precisely because he was an atheist that he didn't read anymore. Not reading, it might be said, was the highest expression of atheism or at least of atheism as he conceived of it. If you don't believe in God, how do you believe in a fucking book? he asked himself.

- from 2666

For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it's the Readers who keep pace. The journey may be long or short. Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path. Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude. To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed. Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness. And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end: the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man's memory. Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy.

- from The Savage Detectives

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