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Tag Archives: Roberto Bolaño

 

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  • Look

    The Part About the Helmets

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    We were thrilled to run across this custom bike helmet, modeled on the 2666 cover designed by Charlotte Strick (who just happens to be The Paris Review’s art editor!). Says Ariel Abrahams, who commissioned the literary topper,

    I chose my design because when I read the book 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, I was literally taken aback. I had to sit down, stop my life and just read. I really fell in love. I thought a bike helmet depicting the magical sea-life images from the cover of the third book of 2666 would commemorate these overwhelming, larger than life feelings somehow. If you have read the book, you know the importance of the sea creature images to the tone of the story.

     

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  • This Week’s Reading

    What We’re Loving: Piano Rats, Black Flag, Bolaño

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    “Pretty Much Every Single Black Flag Poster Designed by Raymond Pettibon” pretty much says it all. This gallery of eighty-two posters, in the collection of Kill Your Idols publisher Bryan Ray Turcotte since 1982, has been keeping me occupied the past few days. I’ve been trying to pick a favorite, but it’s tough. I still remember seeing the Black Flag logo for the first time: it was unmistakable and striking and strangely compelling. It still is. —Nicole Rudick

    In the search for Roberto Bolaño’s Woes of the True Policeman, I ran across the New Directions edition of his 1980 novel Antwerp tucked between his better-known works. It’s an amalgamation of short, experimental descriptions of conversations and neo-philosophical interpretations of love and life, written when the author was twenty-seven. I haven’t come across something so simultaneously challenging and lucid in a long time. —Ellen Duffer

    I was in Chicago this past weekend for Printers Row Lit Festival, where the Review shared the Small Press Tent with a handful of old friends (A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Bookforum) and new friends (featherproof books, MAKE magazine, Midwestern Gothic). Over the course of the festival, I picked up Franki Elliot’s chapbook Piano Rats from Chicago publisher Curbside Splendor and spent a plane ride with Elliot’s brief, deeply personal free verse “stories,” which detail her varied interactions with both strangers and current/past lovers.

    the only sound was our breathing
    when you cleared your throat and said,
    neither loud nor quiet

    “I wish there was a God.”
    I didn’t have to say anything

    At times mundane, awkward, offensive, and, ultimately, heartbreaking, it takes a while to warm up, but, by the end, leaves a lasting impression. I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane. —Justin Alvarez

    I was one of the many fans devastated this week when Scottish indie band the Pastels canceled their U.S. shows (the first since 1997!) due to work-visa issues. At least we can derive some solace from listening to their gorgeous new release, Slow Summits, which is as tender, wistful, and thoughtful as all their albums. (And start saving up for tickets to Glasgow.) —Sadie Stein

     

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  • On the Shelf

    Cake and Pie, and Other News

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  • 2666, in pie-chart form. (Black, in case you were wondering, represents “dread, unease, foreboding.”)
  • Not merely one book-themed cupcake, but a series. (We look forward to 2666.)
  • “Let us not speak of the cookbooks.” A pair of academics attempt to organize their library
  • There is no Hilary Mantel–Kate Middleton feud!
  • Mantel just called the duchess “a jointed doll on which certain rags are hung … without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.” And no Anne Boleyn.
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  • The Culture Diaries

    A Week in Culture: Carlene Bauer, Writer

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    -2DAY ONE

    Tonight I went to my first Spanish class at Idlewild on Nineteenth Street. 7:30 to 9 P.M.. When I signed up for this class in November, shortly after I came back from spending a few weeks in Barcelona, I was flush with the joy of recent travel, and intent on injecting some novelty, intellectual and otherwise, into my life. I had an idea that I might try to make it back to Spain at the end of this year, and if that happened, I’d like to be able to do more than buy a few peaches without tripping over my tongue, or wanting to revert to French, the only other foreign language I know. And if that never happened, I would at least be doing something to forestall dementia. But as the intervening weeks, growing colder and darker, put more and more distance between me and that trip—I dreamed that, didn’t I?—I started to wonder why I’d done such a thing. It seemed as unnecessary and out of character as signing up for ten colonics through Groupon. But when, after the fifteen of us had gathered in a circle in the back of the store, and the teacher welcomed us in Spanish, something in me quickened in response to hearing the language. Maybe it was just sound as souvenir, but some sleeping dog in me perked up. Something similar had happened back in Barcelona, while standing in the La Central bookstore, looking at all the books I wanted to read but could not, feeling a strange urgency to get the key that would unlock what lay between those covers, a strange feeling that this was a language I needed to know deeper. Read More

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