Two Posts running up to July 12, on 2666. Post one, no spoilers
I’m exactly halfway through “The Part About the Critics,” so I figured I could post some questions and guideposts. This first post is two general questions, and has no spoilers.
These first two general questions do not contain spoilers.
1. The title of Part One is The Part About the Critics. It has four protagonists who are European critics of the somewhat contemporary German novelist, the recluse Archimboldi. How do all of these various ideas –“critics,” “European,” “somewhat contemporary,” “German,” “novelist,” “recluse”–structure our expectations about the range of this first section? (I.e., they’re not US critics; their topic of interest isn’t Petrarch or Rousseau; their object of study is more like Pynchon than Norman Mailer (although as old as Gunter Grass); and they’re literary critics, not ethnographers or firefighters or hedge fund managers.) What kind of stories do you think one can tell about people like these?
2. A good warning about Bolaño’s style from Jonathan Lethem’s New York Times review of 2666: “…Bolaño seems to make sport of violating nearly all of the foremost writing-school rules, against dream sequences, against mirrors as symbols, against barely disguised nods to his acquaintances, and so on.” If he does get away with violating all these rules –you’re allowed to decide that he doesn’t– how does he get away with it?
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