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by Roberto Bolano
All I wanted was a literary life — a professional and artistic life defined by the act of creating literature, whether as a writer, a publisher of other writers, and even a curator of writers for live audiences — but achieving a dream simultaneously reveals a void.
What you need to read, what you might want to, and what you can pass over without losing sleep.
With a new title appearing practically every quarter, where should a Bolañophile turn first?
If a Bolaño backlash materializes, it will mark a revolt not against his books, but against a particular narrative being spun about them. With a tendentious but seductive account of the experience The Savage Detectives offers U.S. readers, "Bolaño Inc." provides the perfect cover story for those who can't be bothered to do the reading.
To help acclimate newcomers to this odd and essential author; to continue mapping the Bolañoverse, as Malcolm Cowley mapped Yoknapatawpha; and to impose some order on the flood of Bolaño releases, The Millions offers a syllabus.