Skip to main content

April 19 (let the old content make way for the new content)

More or less, I got nothin', but I'll be teaching Roberto Bolano tomorrow (haven't decided yet as to what lessons he'll learn) and thought I'd share a favorite passage from late in The Savage Detectives:

In Paris, it's different. People drift away, people dwindle, and you have time to say goodbye, even if you'd rather not. Not in Africa. People talk there, people tell you their problems, and then they vanish in a cloud of smoke, the way Belano vanished that night, without warning. And you never even consider the possibility of running into X or Y again at the airport. The possibility exists, I'm not saying it doesn't, but you don't consider it. So that night, when Belano disappeared, I stopped thinking about him, stopped thinking about loaning him money, and drank and danced and then fell asleep in a chair and when I woke up with a start (more out of fear than because I was hungover, since I was afraid I'd been robbed, not being in the habit of going to places like Joao Alves's) it was already morning and I went outside to stretch my legs and there he was, in the yard, smoking a cigarette and waiting for me.

Yes, it was quite the gesture.  (497)

As to the first part, it's worth noting that false dichotomies may be binaries we can deconstruct and yet their extremes tantalize us and often make for great writing, or at least writing that can lead to some conversation.

Bolano has also been on my mind because by coincidence the same week he shows up on my syllabus, I stumbled upon (or I should say it was twossed in my direction via the e-chirper) this bit of Bolano blog. According to the attribution, it's Daniele Pantano's sharing of a Roberto Bolano section that appeared on the NYRBlog. From the text, I know for sure it's a curious bit of writing about observing V.S. Naipaul in Buenos Aires in 1972. Is this real or imagined? I couldn't tell you.

Anyway, Pantano also sent a shout for more quality submissions for his literary journal, and it looks like a promising one with an international flavor and a fancy curve over its first "e." (I suppose I should pretend I know what it's called and not admit to having googled "umlaut" even while remembering that would be two dots).

So that was something.

As you were.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Russian Novels!

L.U.S.K. is excited to feature a guest post from Aisha O'Connor-Fratus, writer, editor, parent, and blogger at Hell's Domestic Backside. Enjoy this list of Aisha's ten favorite Russian novels:
1. Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoy, 1873 to 1877). Anna is rich and bored. Anna hates the way her husband chews his food. Count Vronsky—played by Christopher Reeve, so handsome) sweeps Anna off her feet! But things do not end well for Anna.
2. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880). Not about a traveling circus acrobatic troupe. Its sweeping explorations of God, free agency, and morality are timeless and haunting. My favorite part is Ivan’s reciting of the poem “The Grand Inquisitor” in which Christ is resurrected during the Spanish Inquisition.
3. Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky, 1866). Life-long graduate student Rodion Raskolnikov tries to justify an unspeakably immoral act with eugenics and hey—a guy needs to eat.
4. Rudin (Ivan Turgenev, 1856). Dmitry Rudin talks the talk, but…

The Writing Life Starring Iain Levison

Iain Levison's Dog Eats Dog was published in October, 2008 by Bitter Lemon Press and his even newer novel How to Rob an Armored Car will be published by Soho Press in October, 2009. Back in '00 or so, L.U.S.K. first discovered Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto in hardcover with its original subtitle, "Confessions of a Wage Slave." That memoir established Levison's scalding wit and ability to hold the attention of an ever-tweeting audience. It was later released as a trade paperback with a supercharged second subtitle, and Levison has managed to survive, publish, and publish again. With long-terms roots in Scotland and Philadelphia, Levison currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he commits literature and carpentry as much as he can.

USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you first identify as a writer?
IL: Writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at. Well, the only legal thing. Early on, I realized t…