Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003
Between Parentheses collects most of the newspaper columns and articlesBolano wrote during the last five years of his life, as well as the texts of some ofhis speeches and talks and a few scattered prologues. Taken together, as theeditor Ignacio Echevarria remarks in his introduction, they provide a personalcartography of the writer: the closest thing, among all his writings, to a kind offragmented autobiography. Bolano s career as a nonfiction writer began in1998, the year he became famous overnight for The Savage Detectives; hewas suddenly in demand for articles and speeches, and he took to this new vocationlike a duck to water. Cantankerous, irreverent, and insufferably opinionated, Bolano also could be tender (about his family and favorite places) as wellas a fierce advocate for his heroes (Borges, Cortazar, Parra) and his favoritecontemporaries, whose books he read assiduously and promoted generously.A demanding critic, he declares that in his ideal literary kitchen there lives awarrior: he argues for courage, and especially for bravery in the face of failure.Between Parentheses fully lives up to his own demands: I ask for creativityfrom literary criticism, creativity at all levels.
by : Roberto Bolaño , Ignacio Echevarria, et al.