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

Friday, July 25, 2014

"Clara" by Roberto Bolano (August 4, 2008, in The New Yorker)

My main purpose in writing this post is to let my readers know of a very generous gesture by The New Yorker.  The New Yorker is for a couple of months opening up its vast archives of short stories for all to read.  I am not quite sure yet how this just announced feature will work but yesterday I checked it out and found stories by big name writers.  Among them was a story from 2008 by Roberto Bolano (1953 to 2003, Chile).  Anytime I can read a Bolano work for free, I do.  I have previously read his two big works, several minor novels and short stories.

"Clara", it can be read in just a few minutes, is the story, told by an ex-lover of the life of Clara.  Here is the attention gathering opening paragraph:

"She had big breasts, slim legs, and blue eyes. That’s how I like to remember her. I don’t know why I fell madly in love with her, but I did, and at the start, I mean for the first days, the first hours, it all went fine; then Clara returned to the city where she lived, in the south of Spain (she’d been on vacation in Barcelona), and everything began to fall apart."

Of course the story is one of heart break, dispair and loss.  We follow, through the occasional contacts and phone calls of the narrator, Clara go from beautiful young woman to much transformed forty five year old woman.  The story was translated by Chris Andrews. 

I am reading this as part of my participation in Spanish Literature Month.

You can read "Clara" and lots more great short stories here

Don't wait too long to read this story as once summer is over it will go back to paid subscribers only archives

Mel u

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