This year I have read 9 books, and two of them were written by Roberto Bolaño. In truth, that isn’t particularly strange. In 2014, the 3rd book I read for the year was a Bolaño, In 2013 the 5th. And this reading of Distant Star is the 8th time I have read the book.
And I suppose the attraction of violence and art to the writer and reader is worth examining. With Bolaño these are generally inextricable, which is a way of saying that violence is inextricable from life. Writers live, too (though barely), and thus they must come into contact with, and deal with, violence, death and its consequences. Or, very often, the lack of consequences that violence brings to the person committing the violence (if we take “lack of consequence” to mean “lack of punishment”).
Am I attracted to violence and death? The other books I have read so far this year, with the exception of the (fantasy schlock) David Gemmell, are not violent. But nothing quickens my heart and causes my thoughts to race with excitement for the potential of literature than a good Bolaño book, and if I am honest, is it because he is obsessed with literature, or because he is obsessed with death?
I don’t know.
The Books, Read page contains a list of all of the books I have read this year.