Happy birthday, Roberto
Today, April 28th 2013, would have been Roberto Bolaño’s 60th birthday, and in his honor I am pouring through The Savage Detectives, the novel that thrust him into the higher echelons of contemporary literature. Also, I’ve been doing some sleuthing, via other blogs, to find the best Bolaño sites on the internet. But first, a quick Bolaño bio for the two people who might need it, out of the 5 or 6 who actually read this blog.
Roberto Bolaño was born on this day in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. The dyslexic offspring of a truck driver and a teacher, Bolaño felt like an outcast and so took refuge in books. His family moved to Mexico City in 1968, where he promptly dropped out of school and took up the life of a left-wing journalist and occasional vagabond. He returned to Chile in 1973, where he was briefly imprisoned before being helped to escape by two of his childhood classmates. Or so se says. Bolaño wrote poetry and traveled in South and Central America until 1977, when he moved to Europe, settling eventually near Barcelona and working an assortment of odd jobs during the day and writing at night. He eventually married and it was the birth of his first child, a son, that convinced him to pursue a marginally more lucrative career and write fiction, beginning in the early 1990s. Around the same time, he was diagnosed with a fatal liver disease, and died of liver failure on July 15th, 2003. Among his most well recieved works are 2666, The Savage Detectives, and The Insufferable Gaucho.
And now, here are, IMHO, the trinity of best Bolaño-centric sites I follow: