I'm engrossed in Bolano, Roberto, again--polished off the second section being serialized by The Paris Review (197) and then jumped right into The Skating Rink, which I'm finding pleasantly suspenseful. I'm also enjoying how this slimmer novel resonates with Bolano's other work. We meet alternating narrators, a broken poet, South Americans in exile, the murdered and the forlorn, and a rich sadness that can be absurdly comical, and thus radically destabilizing, all at once. Or, you could say Bolano can write scenes that perfectly create the feeling of simultaneous laughter and tears.
(I believe I first read about Bolano's writing being described this way in a review either in Harpers Magazine or The New Yorker, and I apologize for being unable to pin it down. This wonderful website of Bolano articles appeared when I tried to search for the original quotation.)
At a slight tangent, it seems fitting that I received my form-letter rejection from The Paris Review last night; Bolano's success is most often in his fully realized vision of our failures.
But I guess my book is still in the news if we define "the news" as all information I so desperately search for online everyday. Which does indeed mean that although I failed to watch the women's football (soccer?) championship or follow all the blow-by-blow of the NFL and NBA labor disputes, and the "debt-ceiling crisis" is only an occasional worry and not a constant fear for me or my meager holdings, I did learn that Fight for Your Long Day is now also available as a google e-book, and if you click on "View Sample" to the right of the screen (or follow the last hyperlink), the first 25 pages can be read for free.
And then an amazing blogger, Lori at The Next Best Book Club, has tweeted on it several times, and has even invited shy Cyrus into the bedroom for a late night finale (a dash to the finish line?) according to one tweet. She has also hung it on the front page of her blog under currently reading for quite some time--alas, possibly due in part to the fact that the last half reads a lot faster than the first half for many. A final cool thing about TNBBC is that she is also an alt.punk fan.
Last, the talented writer and photographer Abeer Hoque was kind enough to share this photograph from the Chestnut Hill Book Festival:
Thanks, Abeer and Lori!
And now it's probably time to return to all of my Saul Bellows and Bolanos and John Fantes and other writers who'd probably not be caught dead blogging about themselves or their writing.
Alas, I suppose they died before we could find out, so that they're dead is all we can know for sure.
(So in other words, I wouldn't wish promoting one's own writing on anyone? Or death? Watch out! Yikes! Yeah, I know. I'm a goner.)
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