. . . but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.

01 February 2010

Babble About Overriding Themes

Okay, *Capitu. Fair enough. I just cannot believe that you are putting that much faith in something this author said about his own work.

How sad I am that you are leaving. Your notes are wonderful as always. And thank you for this parting shot.

With my penchant for overstatement, I have probably overstated the worthlessness of research with regard to this book. I did read the excerpt from the interview that you translated for us at No. 20 before I ever read one word of 2666. There among the big books in his life was this:

The Completed Works (my translation) by Borges. (Emphasis mine obviously.)

Initially, I took this to mean that Bolaño had himself translated the complete works of Borges and that he was so proud of the fact that he emphasized it there. When I saw that, my heart sank and I said to myself, "Oh, oh!"

Then I looked at the Spanish text and figured out that the phrase "my translation" was your phrase, *Capitu. I breathed a bit easier then. No much though, because the Complete Works of Borges is still up there toward the top of his list. But then again, I don't completely trust him in that interview anyway.

*Capitu is a fictional character in Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis, a classic Brazilian novel.

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