Sunday, January 12, 2014

Roberto Bolaño's "The Savage Detectives"

Just finished reading The Savage Detectives this afternoon, and loved it for the poignant depiction of the loss of youthful hopes. The formal ambition is also thoroughly admirable. The first and third parts are written by a young visceral realist novitiate Juan Garcia Madero in the form of diary entires. The second, and largest part, consists of the stories of about 50 people whose lives crossed with those of the founders of visceral realism, Ulises Lima (based on Bolaño's friend Mario Santiago) and Arturo Belano (Bolaño's alter ego). Written as if they are being interviewed, these stories show how impossible it is to pin down who the poets are; everyone has a different take on them. The parallel in the detective plot lies in the quixotic search by Lima and Belano for the stridentist poet Cesárea Tinajero, the mother of visceral realism.

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