Bolano’s Nazi Literature in the Americas

 

Nazi Literature of the Americas, Roberto Bolano

The first book I read by Bolano and it got me hooked. Ostensibly, a review of literature written by various Latin American fascists, it is, like much of work, occasionally funny, slightly surreal, and in the end disturbing and brilliant. One of these vignettes was expanded into the even better Distant Star.

Even in translation, it’s abundantly clear that his writing chops are among the best in the business. Clear, precise writing in the service of the impression, and horror, of life in Chile, Argentina, and elsewhere under dictatorial rule. The level of care in creating these set pieces is extraordinary, with each containing cleverly worked out details of the “artists” horrific oeuvres. I read it in a single sitting it was so good.

One fears that twenty years from now, some clever young person will be doing a version of this book about the United States featuring thinly veiled takes on Alex Jones and Steve Bannon.

Recommended.

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