. . . 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.

04 August 2010

B. Traven

In a comment posted last Monday under the 1 February entry, Tyler had this to say:

Do you think it's possible that Archimboldi's story could be somewhat inspired by B. Traven's bio?

I'm something of a simpleton with litereature [sic] (perhaps that's why I've read all of Traven's books, haha) so that's just a passing thought not meant to be considered seriously.

First of all, Tyler is no simpleton with literature. He need only learn to spell "literature" correctly. (I hope he accepts that ribbing for what it is.)

In any event, first, I had to read more about B._Traven, which was fascinating. I immediately took Tyler's point.

I did a little Googling in an attempt to see whether this had occurred to anyone else. See the caption under picture at this site.

Then at MacMillan's site regarding Treasure of the Sierra Madre, you will see the flat statement that Archimboldi was modeled on B. Traven, although I do not know where they got their information in support of that proposition.

I wish to thank Tyler again for that fascinating comment. Whether or not Archimboldi was modeled on B. Travern probably makes no difference whatsoever to any interpretation of 2666. Still, it very interesting. I would like to know whether Bolaño acknowledged this himself at some point.

Now, let me spellcheck this.