Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Question

I've been pondering the overwhelming attention American literary mandarins give to Roberto Bolano's The Savage Detectives, a novel about a Latin American underground literary movement, while they simultaneously ignore-- even flee from-- literary rebellion in their own country.

The question is: Why?

6 comments:

Fawzy said...

I read The Savage Detective. It's a very good novel. I think if you love literature, you will like it. Because that is what the book is really about. It is very Borges, and yet still feels like a Mexican On the Road. And yes, I did think of the ULA when I first read a review for it. But before you start talking shit about Bolano, please keep in mind that the rest of his novels were all published in the US by an independent publisher. And another thing, Bolano could have well been part of the ULA. He hated Marquez, Allende, and anything to do with the academics. He is no Franzen or Chabon, and he never got an MFA or anything like that. This guy started what is basically, and I'll say it, the Mexican equivalent of the ULA back in the sixties. He then left America to bumb around Europe, and then started writing his novels after making Spain his home. I think the ULA should reclaim him for the independents, because those are his roots.

jimmy the hyena said...

If I get the money I'll buy a copy of the Savage Detectives and if it turns out to be as interesting as you say write a review of it. The more worthwhile his writing might be the more disappointing it is that it's been appropriated by the forces of darkness to legitimize themselves.

fdw said...

'solutely! That's what the Estab' doos pretty exclusively these days. This is what the ULA's HOWL event/ protest was all about last year.
Another question in my mind is then spinning off fawzy's comments:
is this edition by the Overdawgs a reissue of Balono's book translated and reprinted from this "US independent publisher".Then it follows that some undergrounders research how this present edition matches up with not only the previuos version but also look for trans/ edited "differences" in the orginal Spanish. A stucuralist approach I'm saying for the most part...
I like Marquez 'cos I like Magical Realism and see it as a further developement of Amodernisimo and keep in mind that he was also a SA politico like Paz and Neruda (and Ernesto Cardenal for sure) -- are they to be condemned for being academics too?
The Borges reference is super important too-- he gives us in the underground a term to out flank the Dawgs and their usurious use of the idea and labl of fiction and the wringer it is being put thru, namely "ficciones", among other things.
Finally, these posts and the questions King's raised here provides a good opportunity for me to mention that it looks like the whole of magical realism is under attack and revisionism recently by the Lit Establishment and Machine, for reasons that should be intuited and sussed out by the radical underground writer at this point.
Might be time to toss in another banana peel!

King said...

Well, yes. I just want to iterate that my problem isn't with Bolano, who if he were alive would be on our side, but with those from the lit-establishment who feel safe to embrace him, to cannibalize him for their own cred, now that he's dead. (Francine Prose and others of her ilk who would as soon as the ULA also die.)

Fawzy said...

I don't recommend anybody buy a $27 dollar book unless they have the spending money. You should try to get it from a library. Or wait for the paperback. But I really do feel, that if you love literature you will like the book. If you are a writer,, a poet, you will feel like you have known those characters. Those guys that claim to be poets, and love the idea of it, but eventually drop their dreams to get a "real job" And I have read that some casual readers, just don't really understand the book. His other books are thinner than The Savage Detectives. I bought it, because i haven't bought a Big BOOk($15 and up) in a while and I liked what it was about. And no it's not a reissue. according to what I read, the family of Bolano wanted a bigger publisher for The Savage Detectives and his other big book 2066 I believe its called. I have nothing against Marquez, i think he is one of the greats. But apparently Bolano thought that he was a hippocrite because of his friendship with fidel castro.

fdw said...

There we have it,, the neo-liberals would such the blood of a dead SA/CA underground writer 'cos he didn't like Castro!
Like Patton sd. yes I was at Carthage some eo/reincarnation thing (which as soldiers in wars are typically working class drones conditional chained to the Wheel Of Samsara, then sure makes sense...). Yes, I work but I doan have a job, and yes I am part of the Modernist tangential momentum, on the other side of the fence from what the Estab/ academy here sez, and yes I am part of the most representative underground literary DIY coalition of @!st Century Mideaval USA, the ULA, and yes were still alive and kicking.