Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

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Road Dog

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May 27, 2009, 11:46:19 PM5/27/09
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1) Pelletier shared a bathroom "with the fifteen residents of the
garret, some of whom had already returned to the provinces ..." (P. 4)
How can he share a bathroom with those who have already departed? A
lapsus calami? If so, whose?

2) Why is it "a strange whim of the maestro" to visit El Escorial (P.
7)?

3) The Swabian remembers meeting Archimboldi in a "Frisian town, north
of Willemshaven, facing the Black Sea coast and the East Frisian
islands ..." (P. 18) But if it's north of Willemshaven, and not one
of the islands, then it's on the coast, not facing it. And, in any
case, it would be the North Sea, not the Black Sea. Another lapsus
calami? Of course, "... all seas were ultimately the same sea ...
" (P.704), but the specificity here is unambiguous. The Black Sea
turns up several times in the last part, but still ... to whom shall
we attribute this unreliability7?

4) "...the flash of insight granted to them in the red-light
district ..." (P.28) No flash of insight was granted. They only sank
themselves in gloom and melancholy until they felt they were
suffocating.

5) "The window was like a French door, narrower than it was wide." (P.
124) Or perhaps higher than it was tall?

My notes go on in this fashion. I appeal to other readers for
guidance and, perhaps, enlightenment. A thought: Now that 666 is no
longer the number of the Beast, of what else might it be the number?

Luther Bissett

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May 28, 2009, 12:06:36 AM5/28/09
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"You raised more questions than answers"
Or maybe just the fact that you noticed these "lapsus" an raised those questions is itself the answer?

 
> Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 20:46:19 -0700
> Subject: [bolano-l] Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
> From: rd...@fairpoint.net
> To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Road Dog

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May 28, 2009, 11:55:05 AM5/28/09
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I have no answers. What I am looking for is procedure. To assert
that there are secret numbers in the landscape is not the same as
actually hiding them there. If it is more than a conceit to say that
a book is the world, my own execrable maunderings, false starts,
rodomontade and inspidities would long ago have been published and won
prizes. Shouldn't we distinguish between a monument and the rubble of
demolition?
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Andrew Haley

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May 28, 2009, 12:02:38 PM5/28/09
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well first things first, compare the english translation to the original to determine if these errata are a translation error. then, second, take into consideration that 2666 was in an unfinished state when it was printed. whether there is a hidden architecture of errata, intentional holes poked in the facade of an imaginary world, well, who knows. maybe he just wrote really fast and hadn't gone back over his drafts.

Luther Bissett

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May 28, 2009, 4:18:19 PM5/28/09
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"MAY BE"
I hear those grey matter to creak.
 

Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 12:02:38 -0400
Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
From: gah...@gmail.com
To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Luther Bissett

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May 28, 2009, 4:22:13 PM5/28/09
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This that you wrote deserves publishing. 
 
The ruble of demolition is the monument after the "procedure".
 
That who can see the monument in the ruble is that who deserves to enjoy the demolition.
 
"THOSE"
> Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 08:55:05 -0700
> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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May 28, 2009, 5:19:47 PM5/28/09
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Road Dog, I'm impressed with the extent of your close reading. And, as far as close readings go, I tend to believe that all the things that Andrew mentioned below deserve to be taken into consideration, but I also think that the closer you go on reading, the more estranged your reading becomes from everybody else's - which might be both a blessing a a curse.
 
Would love to have more time to go on with this. This is a strange book: I got stuck in that connection with B Traven, it just won't go and, since I don't have the time to pursue a second, more enlightened reading, I keep returning to the book in my mind and da capo all over again.

 
2009/5/28, Andrew Haley <gah...@gmail.com>:
well first things first, compare the english translation to the original to determine if these errata are a translation error. then, second, take into consideration that 2666 was in an unfinished state when it was printed. whether there is a hidden architecture of errata, intentional holes poked in the facade of an imaginary world, well, who knows. maybe he just wrote really fast and hadn't gone back over his drafts.

Av. Barão de Jeremoabo, 147 - Ondina
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meek...@hotmail.com

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May 28, 2009, 7:50:52 PM5/28/09
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musee des erreurs

I'm not sure I know what's at stake in all the secret number,
monument, and rubble imagery, Road Dog - and certainly couldn't
identify the origins of the all the errors in the text (and in others
- my fave is in savage detectives, when a character is introduced
smoking a cigarette, and three pages later everyone's looking for a
lighter, and she says sorry, i don't smoke).

andrew suggests some of the many ways that errors/flaws can come to be
produced. but i think the late section where archimboldi sits around
with the publishing staff joking about famous lapsus calumi, what the
text calls "cultured pearls" points to the their deliberate non-
correction (842). interpretation of that 'procedural' gesture is
yours, i suppose.

to call attention to our investment in the monument?
to remind us, upon our meditation of the non-sensical (eg mass
graves) that its source is often the most obvious and the most human
imperfection?
to query how far down the path our conspiracy theories and desires for
totalizing explanations can take us?
to let in the light? because as leonard cohen says, "there is a crack
in everything, that's how the light gets in"?

of course, "the possibility also exists," said the copy editor "that
our Henri [who reads while both strolling around the garden and his
hands clasped behind his back] has invented a device that allows him
to read with his hands free." (844)

if you catalogue them, perhaps there is a device that explains them
all.
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Luther Bissett

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May 29, 2009, 7:14:32 AM5/29/09
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The catalogue is a very good idea!
 
> Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 16:51:18 -0700
> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
> From: meek...@hotmail.com
> To: bola...@googlegroups.com

lou...@gmail.com

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May 29, 2009, 10:52:43 AM5/29/09
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Just to go back to Andrew's point about comparing the English
translation with the original Spanish text - due to Natasha Wimmer's
legendary attention to detail in crafting her translation, I have to
believe that the quarks Road Dog has uncovered have to be from
Bolano's original manuscript. Now, were they intentionally placed in
the text as part of some larger (possibly incomplete) puzzle, or
simply errors made as Bolano raced to finish the book before his
death? I have no idea. This is part of the fun and the frustration
of studying the works of dead writers, they aren't around for you to
ask (although I would love to hear Wimmer's thoughts on the subject).
Sometimes the rubble is just randomly arranged stones. Sometimes the
rubble is the monument.

On May 29, 5:14 am, Luther Bissett <neoi...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> The catalogue is a very good idea!
>
>
>
> > Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 16:51:18 -0700
> > Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
> > From: meekt...@hotmail.com
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Luther Bissett

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May 29, 2009, 2:05:04 PM5/29/09
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Sometimes the rubble is just "randomly" arranged (?!)stones. Sometimes the

rubble is the "monument".
 
Sometimes the "Rubble".

 
> Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 07:52:43 -0700

> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

lou...@gmail.com

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May 29, 2009, 3:35:42 PM5/29/09
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Was it something I said?
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Andrew Haley

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May 29, 2009, 3:39:22 PM5/29/09
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Sometimes "Luther Bisset's" a dick.

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 2:15:27 PM5/30/09
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It's all OK,  man. My humour is chilean. Quotation marks don't always mean (mean) irony.
I'm new to the group, but I'd like to think I'm no troll.
 
I think is great all of you study Roberto so seriously, but sometimes it seems a bit too seriously.
 
Roberto wasn't what we call a "tonto grave", and I think that, and his profound knowledge of the place of randomness in the occult history of avantgarde is well ebeded in his oeuvre.
Humbly, I think that aside the close readings, you have to consider the psychological aspects of the writer, which was latin, and the aggregate of the complemetary but sometimes clashing senses of humour of Chile, Mexico and Catalonia in his life. And maybe, just the vision that this aggregate would some day be studied by non-latins, native english speakers...so, a pun is very difficult to translate, and an idiosincracy, even more.
 
Just a random thought.
 
Cheers.
 
> Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 12:35:42 -0700

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 2:18:18 PM5/30/09
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 Some ego problems, Andrew?
sometimes Luther reads Philip K., yeah!
I could call you a " gringo ahuevonao", but it would be too difficult to interpret.
 
 

Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 15:39:22 -0400

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Andrew Haley

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May 30, 2009, 2:38:29 PM5/30/09
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Luther, i guess i mistook you for a troll. I don't like trolls. It's not about ego. It's about allowing people to speak publicly without being mocked by faceless strangers. Your name doesn't help your reputation either. Y no seas boludo, entiendo lo que significa gringo ahuevonao.

lou...@gmail.com

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May 30, 2009, 3:21:29 PM5/30/09
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Everybody just be Kool and the Gang. Luther - I just didn't get what
you saying. I was attempting - admittedly not well - to play on Road
Dog's phrase about rubble and monuments, and I wasn't sure if you were
ragging on me or what. But it's all fine. No one here is trolling
anyone else.

"Were gonne be like a bunch of little Fonzies here. And what is
Fonzie like?"

"He's cool."

"Correctamundo! And that is what we are gonna be. We're gonna be
cool."

lou...@gmail.com

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May 30, 2009, 3:41:37 PM5/30/09
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Luther does raise a great point though about what value there is in
such close readings of the text. Close reading is not the only way to
discuss literature, and there should certainly be a place on this site
to discuss the social and psychological aspects of Bolano. But
literary criticism is ultimately about the text we have in front of
us; it is the most concrete thing we have to work with. Is picking
every little nit in the text, which is more or less what we are doing
in this thread, useful? Maybe not, but it can be fun. And isn't that
the point of a discussion group like this? Wyatt Mason (a close
reading advocate, whose blog I sorely miss) had a great post on this
topic, which makes the case much more articulately than I can:

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/03/hbc-90004655

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 5:12:10 PM5/30/09
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Thanks, Lougod.
 
I respect the (very protestant after all, and hence maybe "too serious") tradition, but I didn't knew that this was a literary criticism group, exclusively. I know, for my experience in other groups, like one consecrated to William Gaddis, and where there are quite heady people too, that literary critics, professional or self appointed, tend to monopolize or control these groups, in the same way anarcho-communists tend to monopolize or try to control anti-capitalists debates.
 
Maybe I should start another thread, which looks like to segregate to me, or either keep quiet. Aniway, I want you to know that I speak, read, and thinks in Bolaño's same language, and most important, I started to read his work in 2000.
 
I would ask Andrew not to insult, just because he get bothered easily, cos I'm very good insulting back, but find it boring and not related to the topic. If you find me out of line, just tell me that.
 
I have a lot of answers for those questions formulated before, and a lot of Bolaño related material you've never seen, mostly of the Mexico stage, but I don't know how or where to start "processing" or "sharing" it here, for reasons you people reading 2666 could easily imagine. We'll need yeras for all this, the same years I already have invested at least. Sounds presumptuous? Hell, yeah! And that's why I'm not up to "show off", over all if my english is far from perfect.
 
> Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 12:41:37 -0700

> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 5:18:20 PM5/30/09
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OK, sorry, then. I didn't realize I was using this "Luther" account untill too late. My name is Ricardo, call me Rick if you want. I'm not a lot into real names, not just because the Luther Blissett project influence, but avantgardist use of multiple names in general. It is "Rick Terror", that's the name everibody call me; I use in the IUOMA list too, on my blog, on the street, etc.
 
Maybe Rick Terror hasn't a great reputation either, but at least is not as "boludo" as Luther can be sometimes. Oh no! that word again...
 
Well, I'm cool and wanting to learn and unveil Bolano secrets.
Hope everibody is cool there too.
 
 
Rick
 
> Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 12:21:29 -0700

> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 5:22:50 PM5/30/09
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I apologize again, Andrew.
 
I hope I'm not a troll, but a serious Bolaño admirer.
 
Definetely not an academic, and I'm not mocking anyone.
 
In my presentation to the list I said maybe there could be some intercultural misunderstandings. Let's try to make them productive, cabrón.
 

Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 14:38:29 -0400

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
From: gah...@gmail.com
To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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May 30, 2009, 5:31:14 PM5/30/09
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Just an aside, and a full of good intentions one, from someone who has never been able to write as much as he wanted on this list, but who has been reading everything from the very start: I tend to dislike when things go way too off-topic.

So, anyone wanna try that B Traven thing a bit further? People from Mexico, like Luther-Ricardo, think it's a worthy endeavor?

Or: anyone wanna talk about the very possibility of close reading such a Behemoth (and such a recent book!) as 2666? This way lies madness, I guess. reminds me of a mockery by Lem on Ulysses's textual enigmas: Lem suggested a book, Gilgames, that would include as a second volume its own gloss, the key to all its secrets, by the author himself. It's good mockery: there's a grain of truth in it, I guess.

And thanks (Andrew? was that you?) for the essay by Mason - I like his writing too, and that was a good one: good to think, good to discuss, as good readings go.

Best wishes,

Antonio


2009/5/30 Luther Bissett <neo...@hotmail.com>



--
Antonio Marcos Pereira
Prof Adjunto I
Departamento de Letras Vernáculas
Universidade Federal da Bahia

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 5:47:38 PM5/30/09
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I'm from Chile, Antonio.
 
I'm going to update myself (or is it "catch up"?)with the past threads of the group first. Read it all, and then add.
 
I think all Bolaño's work is taylored for close reading, but I don't see it as a closed system, and your reamainder about Lem and Ulysses is quite oportune. I know for certain that Bolaño was aware of the tempation of glossing him, and he was a tricky bastard! Sometimes he got a plan, sometimes just a blueprint and he wants, you lineal english mind boys, to think he's got all figured out, and he's not! He could have, of course, but he passed prematurely.
 
I'm reading the Mason piece too.
 

Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 18:31:14 -0300

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Luther Bissett

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May 30, 2009, 6:03:27 PM5/30/09
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I would like to know -in my catchin up fast process-if everybody have read the Quarterly Conversation notes, like :

 Roberto Bolaño: A naïve introduction to the geometry of his fictions, by Javier Moreno, where he writes:
 
 " The simplicity of complex things, and vice versa
 
I used to think that the diagram* was everything I had to say about Roberto Bolaño. I was very careful when I drew it, three years ago. I had just finished reading 2666 and was completely overwhelmed by its force. I remember sitting at my wife’s desk, in her rat-smelling lab, thinking about a way of representing the Bolañian Universe. I tried lots of intricate geometrical shapes. After a while, however, I realized that—surprise!—it was just a triangle. How simple! The configuration had always been there, I could see it then, I almost had its vertices and rough proportions, and now I just had to find the way to fit the rest inside those three points. “Good!” I thought. I have always liked puzzles."
 
 or the special at www.lanzallamas.com.
 

From: neo...@hotmail.com
To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 17:47:38 -0400
</html

Andrew Haley

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May 30, 2009, 9:13:38 PM5/30/09
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there's no doubt bolaño was a trickster -- even a mean spirited one at times. he's got the dead ends, double mirrors, traps, rabbit holes, errors and errata of borges, nabakov, joyce... but is perhaps crueler than those three. but he has a human wisdom, a compassion, that reminds me more of cervantes than of any other writer. for me, perhaps the most beautiful moment in the few books of bolaño i've read (estrella distante, llamadas telefonicas, 2666 and savage detectives) is when, in savage detectives, after mocking octavio paz for hundreds of pages, he has the scene where ulisses is in the park and he walks by paz and after all the years, and all the hardship, all the success and failure, ulisses has been forgotten by all his friends and associates and it is only paz who recognizes him. this human touch strikes me as beautiful and brave -- a greatness that is common to the truly great books: moby dick, ulysses, don quixote, etc.

perhaps bolaño is a kind of catholic loki, or a post-human humanist.




Road Dog

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May 30, 2009, 10:56:27 PM5/30/09
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A neighbor of mine preserved an old and decrepit barn by erecting a
new barn around it, a carapace of freshly milled and rustic lumber
inside of which all the old timbers remain decoratively visible. This
seems to me an indignity, if not a mockery. Lem's mockery, by the way,
suggests Nabokov's Pale Fire -- perhaps more to the point, Appel's
annotations to Lolita are decorative but not essential. I think B.
Traven is not essential and maybe a distraction.

With respect, Antonio, I think close reading is what 2666 resists.
The problem it poses is whether the familiar procedures of literary
analysis apply to a work that seems written without reference to any
of the familiar procedures of literary composition. The relentless
accretion of gruesome, police-blotter detail in The Part About the
Crimes never concludes but simply ends in the middle; the Demon
Penitent episodes amount to nothing; Kessler appears and departs
without consequence. "All of this is like somebody else's dream,
thought Fate." Yes. (Fate may have been dreaming; indeed, different
parts of the book may exist in different narrative realities.) We
don't know what to make of any of it. The dream does not furnish in
itself the information necessary for interpretation, it can't be
explicated from within. And the dreamer will never awaken.

I return to Andrew's earlier comment about a hidden architecture of
error. I haven't read Bolano's earlier books, but Andrew suggests
that the errata might be procedural. So might the indeterminacy. Did
Bolano accomplish a literature of abstraction? It's tempting to
dismiss Amalfitano's ruminations on major and minor literature as
extenuations for the book's amphetamine incoherence. But it is
equally tempting to defend 2666 as the camouflage that conceals the
masterpiece (see p. 786), or masterpieces of short fiction that gleam
within it like diamonds in the slurry. If I resist both temptations,
I feel summoned to a new way of reading. But I don't know what it
is. Hence my appeal to fellow readers, and my gratitude for their .

On May 30, 5:31 pm, Antonio Marcos Pereira
<antoniomarcospere...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Just an aside, and a full of good intentions one, from someone who has never
> been able to write as much as he wanted on this list, but who has been
> reading everything from the very start: I tend to dislike when things go way
> too off-topic.
>
> So, anyone wanna try that B Traven thing a bit further? People from Mexico,
> like Luther-Ricardo, think it's a worthy endeavor?
>
> Or: anyone wanna talk about the very possibility of close reading such a
> Behemoth (and such a recent book!) as 2666? This way lies madness, I guess.
> reminds me of a mockery by Lem on Ulysses's textual enigmas: Lem suggested a
> book, Gilgames, that would include as a second volume its own gloss, the key
> to all its secrets, by the author himself. It's good mockery: there's a
> grain of truth in it, I guess.
>
> And thanks (Andrew? was that you?) for the essay by Mason - I like his
> writing too, and that was a good one: good to think, good to discuss, as
> good readings go.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Antonio
>
> 2009/5/30 Luther Bissett <neoi...@hotmail.com>
>
>
>
> >  I apologize again, Andrew.
>
> > I hope I'm not a troll, but a serious Bolaño admirer.
>
> > Definetely not an academic, and I'm not mocking anyone.
>
> > In my presentation to the list I said maybe there could be some
> > intercultural misunderstandings. Let's try to make them productive, cabrón.
>
> > ------------------------------
> > Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 14:38:29 -0400
> > Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
> > From: gaha...@gmail.com
Message has been deleted

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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May 30, 2009, 11:58:21 PM5/30/09
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Respect taken, Road Dog. And kudos to you: " If I resist both temptations,
I feel summoned to a new way of reading" is hittin' the nail in the head as far as literary provocations go (if great works of literature should do anything, this is probably the one thing they should do, I guess).

The barn story was also very good.

2009/5/30 Road Dog <rd...@fairpoint.net>
Message has been deleted

Andrew Haley

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May 31, 2009, 4:10:55 AM5/31/09
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the scene where what's her name runs off into the snow and archimboldi chases her down and they look up at the star light and she talks about the light from dead worlds is i think the closest thing we get to an authorial statement of purpose. bolaño wrote the book dying, and he knew it was going to be an emission from a dead world. he's a poet, like all the great novelists are, and he doesn't seem to be inerested in creating a closed universe. rather he seems to understand that literature, like life, is a bath of light from dying worlds.

Luther Bissett

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May 31, 2009, 2:19:20 PM5/31/09
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Bolaño has a kind side, for sure, in personal life. I don't know in literature, but naming one of his main characters Arcimboldi is another clear sign about his relationship to humanism.
 
Cheers
 
Rick
 

Date: Sat, 30 May 2009 21:13:38 -0400

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
From: gah...@gmail.com
To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Matt Bucher

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Jun 2, 2009, 2:29:45 PM6/2/09
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Luther,
Would you recommend this book to the group?

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Q-id-0156031965.aspx

Matt

Luther Bissett

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Jun 2, 2009, 3:20:47 PM6/2/09
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Thanks for the question, Matt.
 
Well, I would recommend a lot of books to the group, always in the context of widening our understanding of Bolaño's work (not just texts).
 
This case, Q, is a good example. They were a very important part of the historical Luther Blissett project (in my case, the missing "l" is on purpose), which is still located at lutherblissett.net. Also pivotal colaborators were Stewart Home and Clemente Padín, and a lot of other people too, of course, Including the spaniard version of King Mob.
 
I read first in 2004, as a text file and then again in 2007 , in spanish, as a real book. It has nothing to do with the LBP, an it was kind of presentation in society of the Bologna4, or Wu Ming. It is just a large, extremelly well constructed book. It is an interesting story, and you should go to the Wu Ming site and read all what they have to say about stories there. I doubt very much Bolaño shared such a vision about "story", or plot,  per se being extremely important.
 
If you are into intelligent books, this is one for you, for sure; but it is even more for you if you are into history and loads of detail. It is mainly "form" novel. It has a good amount of action and an interesting and polemic use of old language. So far, I have known 3 people in my country who have read it, even though it got enough press coverage when released (I couldn't say that we have a proper Literary criticism establishment here).
 
So, YES, I recommend it if you want to read something that Bolaño could have enjoyed (don't forget Wu Ming is political - not as much as LBP was, tho-, but quite auto-critical also, and super aware of avantgarde history...); and NO if you are short of time. In addition, I would say that you can tell that this book is written by latin mentalities.
 
Maybe Bolaño would have smiled after reading it, and made some ironic comment in his interin about the big difference between Wu Ming and Luther Blissett. Who knows?
 

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 13:29:45 -0500
Subject: [bolano-l] Re: spreading uncertainty from 2666
From: mattb...@gmail.com
To: bola...@googlegroups.com

Luther Bissett

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Jun 3, 2009, 9:35:40 AM6/3/09
to lista Bolano
Antonio Marcos: maybe you could extract (not in the strict sense) something from the attachment.
 
Atte,
 
Rick
 

Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 00:58:21 -0300

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666
Bolaño y el canon bastardo_Los detectives salvajes.pdf

nate d

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Jul 6, 2009, 8:01:41 PM7/6/09
to bolano-l
Questions of whether the book supports a close reading interest and
exasperate me quite a bit: I spent quite some time assembling a
detailed chronology of all the book's parts and events, only to
discover that they almost entirely fail to overlap. A arrives in
Mexico only after nearly all the other characters have departed, and
long, long after the killings detailed in Crimes are past (though more
continue, indefinitely). In fact all the characters from the other
parts seem to arrive in Mexico long after Crimes (Crimes ends in 1997,
Amalfitano and Rosa arrive in 2000 or early 2001, and the critics also
arrive in 2001 (I'd need to look up Fate's story again, but it
probably comes in between since no reference was made to Rosa in
Critics). It's a deliberate missed connection, another case of a
terrible, immense abyss to which all efforts lead, basically.

So I wonder if Bolano ever intended anyone to dissect the book that
way, and given the scope of the work, I'd expect he would. But also,
given that it was unfinished, I don't know if he would even have been
able to carry out his intentions completely. Or, if he is as tricky
and perhaps cruel as Andrew says, perhaps the book was more finished
than we know, and he simply helped set up more of a puzzle by implying
that it wasn't.

Luther Bissett

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Jul 7, 2009, 9:33:01 AM7/7/09
to lista Bolano
Nate: that was my point from the beginning. I was misunderstood, though, and taken for a troll.
But it's all behind now.
 
 
Your work wasn't in vain. Bolaño was well aware of the close reading method (?) -interrogation point due that CR may also be an ideology-and other critical practices from Northern and Western universities and faculties, but he didn't belong to that milieu. In fact, considering his mexican period, I think he despised it.
 
For another refreshing writing styles in the same position -more or less - see El jardín de las máquinas parlantes by Alberto Laiseca. If you (in general, any of you, of us)take it for SF, so stop trying with Bolaño right now.
 
> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 17:01:41 -0700

> Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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Jul 7, 2009, 9:36:17 AM7/7/09
to bola...@googlegroups.com, neo...@hotmail.com
Gracias, Rick - and sorry for the delay, I was only able to read the msg now: endterm madness here :-)

Later I'll tell you what I thought of the text.

Best,

Antonio


2009/6/3 Luther Bissett <neo...@hotmail.com>

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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Jul 7, 2009, 9:40:25 AM7/7/09
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I've been interested in Laiseca for a long while already - maybe it was something that Aira said that got me interested, I don't remember - but I never read anything by him. Thought about buying Los Sorias, but never did so. But, anyway, I'd like to hear you more on this, please, Luther. What would be the implication of reading anything as genre fiction, instead of as fiction tout court?

As an aside, I've thought that Piglia was trying his hand at SF in Ciudad Ausente (I guess it has been translated as Absent City).

Best,

Antonio

2009/7/7 Luther Bissett <neo...@hotmail.com>

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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Jul 7, 2009, 9:44:59 AM7/7/09
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Couldn't this be the case, Nate? The guy intended to leave apocriphal marks all over, and part of the fun was to create a behemoth that just doesn't jelly the way we assumed it was supposed to jelly. That could be something of a provocation, a challenge to our standard ways of reading. (BTW, I'm not actually affirming this: it's just thinking aloud, together with you: the B Traven thing got me hooked, its something I cannot overcome, and maybe because of this I tend to take the book now as a quiet way of saying no to something - but what it is I'm not sure yet).

Gonna publish that timeline where? Bit of discussion added to such a work would count as enough of a master's thesis in many programs. :-)

Best,

Antonio

2009/7/6 nate d <npd...@gmail.com>

Luther Bissett

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Jul 7, 2009, 10:24:30 AM7/7/09
to lista Bolano
Well, the clear cut distintion between genre and literary fiction doesn't not apply anymore, I think, from the pdv of analisis. Maybe if a writer wants to sell, it still does.
But the turning point was with the New Wave SF british writers in the sixties.
For instance, I couldn't name Philip K. Dick Science Fiction, over all thinking of VALIS. That's postmodernism to me (as opposed to "genre").
 
We are living in "the futures", we are all retro-futurists.
 
So, you can disregard genres, and see all as text, or you can read everything as genre: literature. Literature, with capital T can be as ideologic as any genre, I think. Over all the novel.
 
But I'm just dropping truisms that any serious reader or researcher knows by heart.
 
Yeah, Piglia, Aira, Lamborghini, Fogwill, they work in a similar way, because they all are well aware of the techniques and even the world-ideas of Borges, Gombrowicz and Macedonio Fernandez. I think every good writer in argentina was in early contact with comics, SF and avant-garde material in one way or another.
 

Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 10:40:25 -0300

Subject: [bolano-l] Re: Harvesting uncertainty from 2666

Andrew Haley

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Jul 7, 2009, 11:18:17 PM7/7/09
to bola...@googlegroups.com
really it's not so much a novel. it's a long long poem. a pastoral for an asteroid.

Antonio Marcos Pereira

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Jul 7, 2009, 11:27:18 PM7/7/09
to bola...@googlegroups.com
Now, Andrew, that - "a pastoral for an asteroid" - was really great. Hats off. :-)

2009/7/8 Andrew Haley <gah...@gmail.com>

really it's not so much a novel. it's a long long poem. a pastoral for an asteroid.


nate d

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Jul 16, 2009, 2:24:55 PM7/16/09
to bolano-l
Heh. Well, Antonio, I was actually just putting the timeline together
for our use here, compiling it while re-reading to keep time with the
group read (I had finished the book on my own in January, before
finding Bolano-l. However, the part about Fate (in contrast to the
very chronology-heavy Critics) contains no dates of any kind, that I
can find -- not even a season -- and I'd left off on the project when
the group read fizzled. So it's really just Critics and a little from
Amalfitano. If you or anyone else is interested, I can post what I've
got, or even attempt to go work in Crimes.

Originally, though, I'd hoped to superimpose Crimes on the other parts
to see what insights the comparison might lend, but as I've said, it
really only overlaps with a few years of Critics where dates are only
given in vague year / season terms, and all the specific sections
where other characters spend time in Santa Teresa occur years after
Crimes finishes.

Actually, I'll just post it. Here's what I've got for the timeline so
far:

1901: Marcel Schwob attempts to visit Stevenson's grave, fails.
1920: Archimboldi born in Prussia
1927 or 1928: the story of the gaucho and teacher outside Buenos Aires
1949: time of the Swabian's story, Archimboldi working on second
novel, first (Ludicke) published earlier that year.
1950 or 1951: Amalfitano is born
1956: Morini born near Naples
1961: Pelletier born
1963: approx Espinoza born
1964: The Berlin Underground published in Italian in Rome
1968: Norton born
1969: The Leather Mask translated into Italian by Colossimi
1971: Rivers of Europe translated/published in Italian
1973: Inheritance translated/published in Italian
1974: Amalfitano in exile in Argentina, translates The Endless Rose
1975: Railroad Perfection translated/published in Italian
1976: Morini first reads A
1980, Christmas: Pelletier reads first Archimboldi: D'Arsonval
1981: Pelletier's trip to Bavaria
1983: Pelletier begins translating D'Arsonval
1984: Pelletier's transaltion of D'Arsonval finished
Rosa Amalfitano born (roughly, could be '85)
1986: Pelletier a professor of German in Paris
1988: Morini translates Bifuraria Bifurcata
Norton lives 3 months in Berlin, reads first Archimboldi: The
Blind Women. Reads Bitzius 5 months later.
1989: Pelletier and Morini meet at conference in Leipzig
December: P and M at symposium in Mannheim
1990: Espinoza recieves doctorate in German
P, M, and E meet in Zurich
1991: Morini translates Saint Thomas
P and E become friends at German lit congress in Maastricht
1992, Jan(?): PME all at seminar in Augsberg
Jan: PE in Paris
1993: PME in Archimboldi issue of Literary Studies (no.46), camps
form, PME read Norton
PME in Bologna
1994: 4 Critics meet at conference in Bremen
fall/winter: PMEN in Avignon
1995: PMEN in Amsterdam, the Swabian tells his story
EP visit Bubis in Hamburg, feel futility, fall (or admit to
being) in love with Norton, and so on
Morini travels alone to conference in Salonika, is briefly blind
1996: PMEN in Salzberg
Archimboldi discussed for Nobel prize for the first time.
Morini reads about killings in Sonora in a story in Il Manifesto
by an Italian reporter
End of year: Morini dreams about the abyssal pool and Norton,
travels to London, story of Edwin Johns
1997, beginning: Norton takes a step back from relationships with P &
E, talks to them in London
PMEN in Stuttgart
E and M in Hamburg, visit Bubis again
P and E in Mainz
3 months after visit to N: P and E visit her again, enter
Pritchard
... [the dates seem to drop off here, and quite a bit of time passes]
PME in Bologna
Beating of the cabbie
Visit to Edwin Johns at Auguste Demarre clinic
etc etc, all with no firm dates until they leave for Mexico
...
2000: Rosa and Amalfitano arrive in Santa Teresa (probably, could be
early 2001)
2000/2001: Fate's trip to Santa Teresa, he and Rosa depart
2001: Seminar in Toulouse, Alatorre's story, Critics travel Santa
Teresa


On Jul 7, 9:44 am, Antonio Marcos Pereira

meektree

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Jul 16, 2009, 7:54:09 PM7/16/09
to bolano-l
Hi Nate

I think the Part About Fate takes place sometime in the early months
of 2002. While in Mexico, Oscar recalls that his most recent rejected
pitch to his editor had been about a group of black American radicals
who marched under a poster of bin Laden "less than six months since
the attack on the World Trade Center" (291 in my edition). There are
several pages of discussion that follow which clearly place Fate's
soujourn in Mexico at least six months after Sept 11 2001.

Lotte reads Archimboldi's book in transit during her 2001 trip to
Mexico, where she gets in touch with Mrs. Bubis. Three months after
her return to Germany her brother comes to see her, and leaves for
Mexico within days. So his trip is at the least three months into
2001, or perhaps early 2002, depending what time of year her annual
trips usually take place, and how long they last. However, since the
day before he leaves, he sits at the cafe and has an ice-cream, best
in the spring or the fall, suggests April-June 2001, Sept/Oct 2001 or
early spring 2002.

The critics hear about Archimboldi's Mexican sighting at the Toulouse
Conference. (I don't know where you got the 2001 dating, but that
could work.) They go to Mexico, shortly thereafter.

It does seem that Rosa is gone by the time the critics arrive,
suggesting their arrival takes place after Oscar has left, ie sometime
in early 2002. If Archimboldi's trip begins in early 2002, then it
really would be "just the other day" that he was sighted in St
Theresa, and that Fate and Archimboldi's paths almost cross.

The critics friendship is forged the same year the crimes begin to be
reported.
2066 stops recording them in 1997. But of course, they continue.

It seems to be that in this chonological respect at least, there is
more order in the text than first appears?

Andrew Haley

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Jul 16, 2009, 8:00:38 PM7/16/09
to bola...@googlegroups.com
who is the giant who appears in the jail cell where Fate and Rosa are kept in the strange david lynchian double-ending of the part about fate? isn't that alchimboldi? seems like the chronologies might match up...

meektree

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Jul 16, 2009, 9:51:23 PM7/16/09
to bolano-l
yes that would be nice, wouldn't it? certainly the text sets it up
for you to think its A if you're reading chronologically, cause you're
looking for tall blue-eyed german with the critics for hundreds of
pages before then.

but it's the similar-looking nephew, isn't it? or am i missing some
grand implication of the ending, that archimboldi goes to mexico to
take responsiblity for it all?

i thought archimboldi goes to mexico, like the critics, to try to
witness?free?save?his legacy, whose literal, 21st century
manifestation is the nephew - archimboldi 2.0. a much reduced
version.

Andrew Haley

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Jul 16, 2009, 9:56:12 PM7/16/09
to bola...@googlegroups.com
i completely agree with everything you say meektree, especially your sentiments, except for your certainty that the blond giant is archimboldi's degenerate nephew. who is it? the angel of death? the colossus of human suffering? archimboldi working the trail as a detective, who believes fate and rosa might know something about the killers? archimboldi's degenerate nephew snuffing out a few survivors clinging to the dingy bobbing in life's wake?

meektree

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Jul 17, 2009, 12:40:12 AM7/17/09
to bolano-l
hi andrew
well, i read that section (and reread it now) much more literally - i
hadn't thought of them as doubled endings, though i can see how you
see that. (i just thought the last scene in a flashback from the
"safe" side of the border.) so i read it - rosa, fate, and guadalupe
are in the visitor's waiting room at the prison, where lotte and the
other mothers in shawls have often also waited, and the blond giant is
the prisoner taken out by the guards from the prison, to be
interviewed. and he is the suspect who's been in custody since 95, who
turns out to be archimboldi's nephew. (who while a creepy,
malevolent, possibly sociopathic pornagrapher, is not 'the' or 'the
only' killer, right?)

where there is menace, it is in the confrontation with what they
imagine is the source ( a source) of the paranoia and threat that
pervades the town, and not because they're about to die. i think (by
an an act of fate) rosa survives to cross the border, as the preceding
section records, and the journalist? walks out of there too, and if
something happens to her, it's after, as has happened to the others
who see too much.

i had the impression that the nephew is constructed through fragments
of the Crimes section, as bearing a physical resemblance to his uncle,
as identifying with him as the giant of his mother's imagination, and
as calling out for him. i haven't reviewed that section closely to
confirm that impression though.

of course, such a reading asks what is the relationship-symbolic and
not literal- of archimboldi and indeed his not-very-nice but not
genocidal -nephew, to the crimes?



of course,

nate d

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Jul 17, 2009, 1:23:55 PM7/17/09
to bolano-l
Meektree, good catch on the 9/11 reference, which for some reason I
glossed over when skimming Fate's section again. I think I was more
focused on the "current" parts of Fate's story on the most recent
pass. That does set things up a little differently. And it does seem
interesting that the specific dates drop out of the part about the
critics at the same time that Crimes ends, though I have no idea what
to make of that, given that those are both reflect only how the
narrative was formatted, rather than actual information on the events.
I was definitely hoping someone would be able to add to or amend the
timeline more once I posted it, though. So thanks.

I definitely read the end of Fate the same way you (Meektree) did, as
well, with Fate, Rosa, and Guadalupe Roncal visiting/being-
disconcerted-by Klaus, then escaping to the states. It's just Fate
honoring his promise to Roncal, as far as I know. That stretch,
incidentally, is one of my favorite parts of the book, when Fate's
dry, noir style suddenly expands into something much more disorienting
and poetic.

meektree

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Jul 17, 2009, 1:30:34 PM7/17/09
to bolano-l
Further dating info:

1) When Norton returns from Mexico to visit Morini in Turin, they
talk "for hours...about the Italian Right, about the resurgence of
fascism in Europe...about Islamic terrorism, about British and
American politics"

the election of Berlosconi and the consolidation of rightist power
(including the incorportation of neofascist elements) took place in
May 2001; it's most likely the topic of "Islamic terrorism" would
acquire increasing currency post Sept 11, and more likely as the
months went on...Wasn't there a renewal of the Palestinian intifada in
early 2002? When was the Bali bombing?

2) The part about Amalfitano describes his introduction to Guerra, the
Dean's son. When he meets the critics, they already know each other.
The Part About about Amalfitano precedes Part about Critics.

As they touch-down in St. Teresa, the parts are ordered thus: Crimes.
Amalfitano. Fate. Archimboldi. Critics.
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