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Sunday Stories: Llamadas telefónicas

“Me gusta variar, le dije. Si follo en la misma postura dos noches seguidas me quedo impotente. Por mí no lo hagas, dijo ella.”
Llamadas telefónicas, Roberto Bolaño, Editorial Anagrama, 1997, p. 137.

Is variety the spice of life? Is change what we need? My translation is as follows: “I told her I like to mix things up. When I fuck the same way two nights in a row, I become impotent. Don’t do it for me, she said.” The thing is: we force the issue, and that is the issue:

  “En su corazón, Leprince ha aceptado por fin si condición de mal escritor pero también ha comprendido y aceptado que los buenos escritores necesitan a los malos escritores aunque sólo sea como lectores o como escuderos.”
ibid., p. 35

The truth is that impotence isn’t caused by repetition. Lack of acceptance of how things are causes the frustration that causes it. Since I understood and accepted with Leprince that  I am a bad writer, I know good writers need me, if only as a reader or a Sancho Panza. Since then I also stopped reading, in particular writers that are still alive. One of the main reasons for me liking Bolaño is that he allows me to read contemporary literature whilst avoiding that I thereby help anyone’s actual career.

But I don’t give up on writing. Neither did I give up on fucking. I just give up on expecting something historical to come from it. Instant and delayed gratification combined is what it is because when I do it, it is done knowing that that’s that and that there is no reason for any complications like these.

“Mi padre, por entonces, tenía un alto puesto en el gobierno de Allende y su preoccupación mayor, pobre viejo, era que la prensa momia desvelase los afanes en que andaba metído su primogénito.”
ibid., p. 85

In my case there would no hostile right wing press that would want to reveal what my eldest son was involved in because there would be no left wing power to be broken with it. Being a nobody not only creates opportunities in the area of privacy but also in the area of remaining uninfected by the illness of opinionitis, the condition by which an opinion swells and breaks open in the public whatever the subject is.

Take me to be B and A to be one of the many people who, once famous, if called always express some opinion, then the following is true:

“Para B, en resumen, A se ha convertido en un meapilas.”
ibid., p. 52.

Which has brought me to where I wanted to be: famous people want to fuck us in a constant variety of ways because they need it to continue to feel their power. It is to them I say: you don’t need to do it for me. Not that I’m going to try to stop you or something, no. Go ahead, I’ve been fucked in so many ways I don’t really mind it.


July 1, 2012 - Posted by | Sunday Stories |


  1. oh you read in spanish! or is it portugal, have no idea, and in french, german, belgian, though they speak french, no? i mean that is so much cool than to write in english only
    incidentally my comment that disappeared was about sylvia plath and a movie description of her life which i saw recently about the high price to pay for talent and fame, with one’s suffering in one’s earthly life so it feels as if like how coincidental to think almost the same thoughts on the matter, one really perhaps should bless one’s lack of ambition for the safety, sanity and rest of one’s life, even though one of the purposes of one’s life maybe is to leave a trace as much noticeable by as possible
    i dont know what is wrong with the moon it looks almost red, too orangy a hue, must be the heat affects so the air, if it was in the winter i would want to say it’s going to be perhaps cold, so maybe it’ll cool down or maybe it’s the colorado fires that cause this atmospherical phenomenon
    and i would like to complain again about the lack of preview function here which disables any editing for me

    Comment by read | July 1, 2012

  2. so i learnt belgians speak dutch plus to french and german, all of them? that’s pretty rich
    and i reread bolano’s wiki, i recalled reading it before, sounds interesting maybe should try to find his translations though i don’t really like reading anything too provoking as if like purely for that, how it is called, epatage? but he seems was a very sympathetic person and his books must be not only that

    Comment by read | July 1, 2012

  3. read, this is the time I’m going to ask you to stop commenting on my posts. I do some work on them and get depressed when they get read only to be associated with bras or ‘oh, …’. Sorry.

    Comment by Guido Nius | July 1, 2012

  4. i understand, you can delete them if you want

    Comment by read | July 1, 2012

  5. This is an auspicious post — we will soon be hosting a reading group of Bolaño’s 2666 right here on this wery Veblog! And doubly so for the Sancho Panza reference, because we’ll be doing it with an old professor of mine with whom the first book I read was Don Quixote.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | July 1, 2012

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