. . . 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.
By Roberto Bolaño, from “Literature + Illness = Illness,” in The Insufferable Gaucho, out this month from New Directions. Bolaño dedicated the essay to his hepatologist, Victor Vargas. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.
This essay from the collection appears in this month's Harper's.