If, by some miracle, you happen to be done reading Roberto Bolaño's masterpiece 2666, here’s some of his vintage stuff for you: Nazi Literature in the Americas, available today on paperback (New Directions, $14) and translated from the original 1996 Spanish version by Chris Andrews. It reads like a wildly entertaining encyclopedia of right-wing, pan-American authors who all flirt with the idea of fascism and think Hitler is a hero. Although all of the writers are fictional characters, Bolaño places them in very plausible circumstances, having them interact with real literary figures like Octavio Paz and Allen Ginsburg.
As a political prisoner during the Pinochet regime, this chileno understands fascism and the people who perpetuate its propaganda all too well, and he certainly draws from those experiences while using overt satire to bring these monsters to life. There's really only one other person who could so effortlessly blur the lines between historical fact and fiction, and that’s Argentina’s Borges. With all the recent buzz surrounding 2666, it would seem we’re still playing catch-up with Bolaño, so going back to the first work of his that earned him props on a worldwide scale seems appropriate.
For an excerpt, visit www.ndpublishing.com