Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Roberto Bola-no

Image result for bolano 2666

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin...

Once upon a time I may have felt intellectually inferior to those who were not only able to read but waxed lyrical about 'difficult' novels. Thankfully, those days are over. Perhaps this is simply due to my age, as in the passing of enough years to render me confident in my taste having sampled many things, including Trout Mask Replica.

I do not like long novels. With this in mind, I recently bought Roberto Bolano's 2666 because it sat there on the charity shop shelf priced at £1.49. For that paltry sum I could afford to be...'brave'...or 'adventurous', whatever you might call it. 'Stupid' is a word that springs to mind now.

I felt like a challenge. I jumped in with a view to taking each page as it comes rather than worrying about how many were left. The first part, The Part About The Critics, was not engaging but I read on about their relationships and the quest to find their favourite author. I noted many little stories within stories and descriptions of dreams. These rang alarm bells but I persevered. Regarding literature about literature I felt that Bolano's friend, Enrique Vila-Matas, did a much better job. No matter. I continued reading.

The first part finished I paused. There seemed little point wondering what that was about. I know what it was about. I only wondered if it was about more than it seemed to be about. In other words, had I missed a meaningful subtext? I paused for a couple of days before starting The Part About Amalfitano. I read several pages before, not slamming it shut and hurling it across the room, but calmly closing the covers and placing it on the pile of stuff we give to the local charity shop.

So that was 2666. All I can say now is if anyone can read it and gain pleasure in the process they have my best wishes, but not my admiration.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...