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Songs are just interesting things to do with the air.

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The Alameda

Parecía un gusano blanco, con su sombrero de paja y un Bali colgándole del labio inferior.
The first line of Bolaño's story "The Worm" (from Llamadas telefónicas) jumps out at me, makes me do a double-take. The same line occurs in his poem The Worm, from The Romantic Dogs, which was the first text of Bolaño's I ever read...

The story is an amazing one, indeed I think it might be my favorite so far from either Llamadas telefónicas or Putas asesinas. It will not really bear (that I can see) any summarizing on my part... I hope it is in translation so I can tell people to read it. And, yes! It is included in Last Evenings on Earth as The Grub.

One thing that really hit me as I was reading it was recognizing the setting -- I was walking through the Alameda and the Palacio de Bellas Artes only a week ago! I was right outside the Sótano bookstore -- a couple of locations, including the one across from the Alameda. This makes the story nicely concrete.

The story includes a lot of Bolaño's other work, specifically (of course) the above poem and some imagery from various parts of The Savage Detectives. And a note as I'm Googling around -- I see Jorge Ferrer-Vidal Turrull has a novel from 1966 called El gusano blanco; I wonder if Bolaño is intending any reference to that book.

posted morning of August 21st, 2010: 4 responses
➳ More posts about Roberto Bolaño

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