Roberto Bolaño is being sold in the U.S. as the next Gabriel García Márquez, a darker, wilder, decidedly un-magical paragon of Latin American literature. But his former friend and fellow novelist, Horacio Castellanos Moya, isn’t buying it.
In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that; Cells; Prisons; Doors; Writers; Letters; Prisoners In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell … The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.
(Translated, from the Spanish, by Suzanne Jill Levine.)
“Prior to the advent of the portable tape recorder, naturalists struggled with descriptions of sounds—a thoroughly unsatisfactory procedure as most investigators realized. One frog is decsribed as having a call “like the loud purr of a cat, with a metallic sound of grinding gears.” Other authors described the same calls as “a low toned tirr-r-r-r,” as “a loud crah-crah-crah,” a resonant yeow,” or “a snore-like cry.” It is manifest that these descriptions convey almost no meaning. Charles M. Bogart, from the liner notes to
Sounds of The American Southwest, Folkways Recordings, 1959.”—