Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Amulet by Roberto Bolano (1999, translated by Chris Andrews, 2006)

is the forth  novel by Roberto Bolano (1953 to 2003, Chile) I have read.  Prior to starting my blog I read 2666, Savage Detectives, and By Night In Chile.  Since starting my blog in July 2009 I read his wonderful Nazi Literature in the Americas and several of his short stories.  Bolano is a tremendously influential writer.    

Amulet is the first person narrative of a woman from Uruguay who lives in Mexico City.   She refers to herself as the "mother of Mexican poetry" due to her heavy involvement on several levels with many young Mexican poets.   As portrayed in the monologue of the narrator, the lives of the poets  fit the stereotypes of chaos and turmoil.   The narrator nurtures the poets, sleeps with some of them and revels in the street life of Mexico City.   Many of the poets are very young, in their late teens to early twenties.  There are lots of Latin American literary references that go over my head and no doubt there is a great mixture of the real with the created.  Bolano was great at making up whole literatures that might have been.  The woman perceptions range from deluded to deeply insightful.   

There is great depth in this work and many ways to ponder the monologue of the narrator.   In reading Bolano I would say first read Savage Detectives then dive into the massive 2666.  I believe at least 2666 will become a classic.  In time I hope to read much more of his work.

Please share your experience with Bolano with us.

Mel u



Unknown said...

Hi, Thanks for this review. I hadn't heard of this author but might check out one of the titles you mention. I've noticed Mexican poets cropping up in a few books lately. Diego Rivera was one of the characters in The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

Unknown said...

"Bolano was great at making up whole literatures that might have been."

This is interesting. I haven't read works by Bolano. But it would be nice to learn some Mexican poems and compare them with Filipino poems. Some words and experiences may be similar.

Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

My apologies for not posting yet my entry on F. Sionil Jose's short stories. It will be up soon. Right now, I'm catching up on personal posts I've long wanted to blog about.

@parridhlantern said...

loved this book.Although my personal recommendation for a first read would be the short story collection Last Evenings on Earth.