La universidad desconocida Kindle ´ La universidad

La universidad desconocida If you've read Bolano's oeuvre and you enjoyed both his prose and poetry than you are in for a treat A collection of poetry and vignettes with familiar scenarios and characters that appear through out his novels and poems I'd suggest reading the author's notes and brief history of the book that appear at the end of the book early on in your reading just to give you a reference point of these writings Good stuff and something I may go back to sporadically for a reread I am grateful for three masterpieces all of which I had read earlier 'Autumn in Gerona' 'Mexican Manifesto' and 'The Neochileans' This is probably the last Bolano work that one should read after all the prose has been devoured and a journey for its poetic center is felt as necessary The center is of course a voidIt hits you in the most ridiculous momentwhen you are asking AVto leave the house or pay the moneyand he looks back at you with eyes of graphiteeyes murderous and leaden and perhaps long deadand you smile in exasperationand you blink a long blinkand you find yourself in a huge fieldof corn or wheatin a desolate field of corn or wheatwhere a silent UFO cleaves the skya silent UFO well lit phallus of the extraordinarylike the magnetic center of your dream's dreamand ki ki ki does your heartand then you think of a Terrence Mallick movie and a Jia Zhangke movieand you know you have mixed the two in your headAV is still there spittle on his beardexclaiming with great ferocity his intentionto never pay the money backand then he asks you if you think he will ever make a movieand you say 'No' nonchalantlybecause you know that Kerouac was wrongbecause great Roman candles that burn magnificently burn awayand you almost pat your back for sticking with the worldfor having to wake up tomorrow in your own bedthe injunction of waking up in your own bedand you want to say 'I'm an island fuck you'but you only say 'No' again nonchalantlyAV goes away and you have other things to doalthough you register the things he has stolenwires and socks cigarette lighters a packet of muesli et ceteraand you laugh imagining his stupid eyesand the stupid tragedy of his dreamsand you think of the hollowness of all dreamsthe absent center of their miraclesthe center from where the sirens singand tomorrow you will wake up in your bedafter having dreamed of innumerable division of dovesattacking the east a fucking white blitzkriegand its storms of shitand under some shroud a general for those armiesa general dutiful honest mercilessand forever awake For Bolano completists and Beat aficionados who want to read post Beat poetry set in Barcelona by day and distant lands across the Atlantic by night Gulped it down thanks to plentiful white space only occasionally glancing at the Spanish on the left page Skimmed People Walking Away since I'd read it when published solo as Antwerp of note at the end Bolano namechecks Burroughs as its clear influence So that's where the detectives come from Also shout outs to Ted Berrigan Frank O'Hara Nicanor Parra Stefan Zweig Loved the stray lines of writing advice Every passing page accumulated like a dream I didn't want to break but only a few pieces jumped to five star territory for me particularly the surreally sexy single spaced story about visiting Mexico City bathhouses and the poems toward the end that directly address his son and his sickness Like the best Beat stuff Bolano's poetry makes you want to write and live in a way that makes sense when written and makes self mythologizing seem to matter Also interesting to see the early jewels of the big books to come although they don't pop up everywhere at all A great collection to plough through when a little sick toward the very end of the year a time of limbo like in the bathhouses described by Bolano thusly The essence of those places seemed to be a limbo a dead child's closed eyes Which suggests the line in Amulet I think that mentions 2666 a cemetery in the year 2666 a forgotten cemetery under the eyelid of a corpse or an unborn child bathed in the dispassionate fluids of an eye that tried so hard to forget one particular thing that it ended up forgetting everything else The limbo is embodied by the ultimately immortal yet nevertheless dying writerfather who once had a visa that let him stay in Spain for three months but not work Here's good old fashioned soul work done in lieu of work work tracing obliue instruction handed down by a foreign city all of it passed to his son as uniue hometown heritage Mutual protection his son protects the books by reading them and the books protect the son Nice nice nice I didn't want to be done reading this The good news is that although I've turned the last page and closed this book that has been haunting my dreams and memories and everyday experiences ever since I opened it I do not feel like I'm done reading it I struggle to write elouently or seriously about Bolano mainly because a lot of his writing's impact whether poetry or fiction on me is pure gut level shit I tried writing a review of 2666 once and as soon as I was done I trashed it I can talk about this guy I can ramble even but I can't really explain what I really dig about this guy's stuff outside of just repeating the usual stuff you read about his writing I guess one thing people don't often enough mention is how good a poet and writer of sex Bolano is It's always rendered subjectively heavy on sensuality on the sense impression but somehow also cerebral or at least serious real emotional He can write about somebody's asshole for a full page and I'm still just going wow that's pretty y'know?So instead a list of my favourite poems from this collectionOccasionally it Shook The RedheadLike a WaltzNever Alone AgainThere Are No RulesSummerThe Redhead another oneLatin American PoetryThe DetectivesThe Lost DetectivesThe Frozen DetectivesTough Guys Don't DanceLupeLa FrancescaEyesRainThe Romantic DogsTwilight in BarcelonaRoberto Bolano's ReturnA note on the translations because this includes prose poems translated earlier by Natasha Wimmer reading The Unknown University really makes clear to us English only philistines that our experience of Bolano's writings is heavily dependent on these two women Wimmer's translated most of the fiction I'm pretty sure by page count anyway and I don't think it's a coincidence that all the Bolano stuff I haven't really dug was the Chris Andrews translated stuff though it's not bad and Healy all the poetry except the aforementioned prose poems And reading both translators at work in the same book I definitely got a picture of how both went about their work and how the similarities and differences etc in our English reading of this poetry and the prose fiction depend on the personal styles of Healy and Wimmer respectively I do think my awe of Bolano's fiction in English is somewhat dependent on Wimmer's work as translator Healy's done some terrific work too Among my favourite couple lines from The Romantic Dogs repeated here is And uick strokes of other less intimate adventuresFlashed in her wounded eyes like fireflies Those lines are pretty different in the Spanish and working with a limited knowledge of Spanish looking at the Spanish lines it seems like Healy's done a great job of distilling what those lines were about and turning 'em into real pretty lines of English So that's one example of Healy being pretty great too So yeah credit to Roberto and to Natasha and Laura It's been seriously great reading this stuff As much as I find the commodification of Bolaño by western media conglomerates into a sort of cottage industry rather offensive it is delightful to find the Bolaño universe still expanding Just when I had reluctantly resigned myself to the fact that I would never again be able to read Bolaño's great novels but would instead have to re read them a friend gave me this handsome book as a birthday present Over 700 pages long this bilingual volume of Bolaño's complete poems offers the fanatic a great resource and the dilettante another fun chapter in the posthumous life of one of the 20th century's greatest writers In excellent English translation facing the Spanish originals The Unknown University offers both an important research tool and mesmerizing bedside reading It is organized according to the unpublished poetry manuscripts Bolaño prepared before his death and has the wonderful immediacy of poetry left as the poet liked that rough rude hewn state of poetry that is as it was meant to be the poetry of the 1855 Leaves of Grass or the early and out of print books of WH Auden Perhaps that is another collateral positive of the Bolaño industry that the editors and publishers are making such a fortune off of the raw goods that they don't feel compelled to clean it up or water it down This book reads like someone neatly typed up a handwritten manuscript and put it in a very nice hard cover The poems aren't tooled and accomplished like so much of what we read nowadays Even much of the avant garde these days write poems that feel like they have been polished with bowling towels and edited by committee CA Conrad being one exception that comes to mind The Unknown University is full of poems written by a Bolaño in desperation either as in the first sections because of the poverty anonymity and rejection he experienced in his first years as an expatriate in Catalunya or as in its last third because he has been diagnosed with terminal liver disease They are written from a place of extraordinary privacy and read like snapshots of Bolaño's mind they are truly the occasions of their being a starving Bolaño savoring a cup of coffee Bolaño spying on the girls taking polo lessons at the stables beside the campground where he lives Bolaño reminiscing about the Mexico of his youth in Spanish hospitals at the end of his life We are privy to the arrival of ideas and motifs that feature prominently in the novels Northern Mexico Mario Santiago the real life Ulises Lima detectives horror movies road trips Anyone who is as crazy about Bolaño as I am will love this book I've had The Unknown University by my side for a months now and this journey has finally come to an end I seem to be terrible at parting ways with books that spend so long a time with me that they just become intimate and this one did I've always looked up to Bolaño and I've always found his prosepoetry to have reached so close to greatness that they are almost synonymous To simply put it I'm very sad to have finished this and I think I'm going to be going back and forth into it just like I do with the works of writerspoets that I really love It would be unfair to try and pick out a favourite piece from this book because I truly loved so much of it and the highlighted bits are endless However Prose from Autumn in Gerona will have a special place in my heart as well as the poems he wrote for his son almost brought me to tears It's a bitter sweet feeling that I have for finishing it but I'm glad that such work lived with me Laura Healy did a wonderful job working on this truly Any honest collection of poetry and what should poetry be but honest will read like a collection of who its author is than like what its author is capable of This isn't such a radical pronouncement obviously It might even be wrong But that also is what poetry is A willingness to be wrong in an attempt not to be right but to and if I had some honest way to express this I would find a little bit of truth I've heard others say that this should be read as a relic of Bolaño from the days in which he was a savage detective Sure also true But it isn't so much just source material fallen from the heart for us to know the author Maybe for us to know the man Or the boy for in a way is that not what he was? A bit like Chris McCandless who might also be called a savage detective an enrollee of the unknown university but at its satellite campus rather than its flagship which sailed a different course to find its way home I don't think I've really said anything about this collection of poetry but if I may I might simply blame the book itself rather than my own incompetence for the ramblings I think honest ramblings are a good thing to blame Bolaño for causing anyway I'll try to write when I am able to GENIUS Poetry that might champion my shadow in days to comewhen I’ll be just a name not the man who wanderedwith empty pockets worked in slaughterhouseson the old and on the new continentI seek credibility not durability for the balladsI composed in honor of very real girlsAfter Novel Explosives I needed something to clear the air of cordite These Beat ish ruminations certainly cleansed if only with the tears elicited Heartfelt and sprawling the verses ache of exile and loneliness There are themed clusters of redheads and hunchbacks crooked cops and faded postcards I was expecting books and reading to be chronicled Despite my surprise this is a worthy testament «Creo ue en la formación de todo escritor –afirmó Bolaño– hay una universidad desconocida ue guía sus pasos la cual evidentemente no tiene sede fija es una universidad móvil pero común a todos» Así proyectó reunir hacia mediados de los años ochenta buena parte de la poesía ue había escrito desde su llegada a España en 1977 El tiempo pasó el proyecto fue creciendo y en 1993 temeroso de su salud Bolaño ordenó y fijó el material acumulado dando lugar a un grueso volumen mecanoscrito –el ue sigue esta edición con algunos agregados– ue desde entonces uedó listo para ser publicado Bolaño sin embargo lo retuvo consigo hasta su muerte refiriéndose a él en más de una ocasión como una suerte de testamento literario auténtica summa de su poesía durante los años decisivos de su formación literaria cosa ue sin duda viene a ser por mucho ue en los años sucesivos se dieran a conocer algunas de sus partes En él se forja su voz tanto de narrador como de poeta en el bien entendido de ue fue siempre como poeta como se vio a sí mismo Bolaño ue –como se hace auí patente– transita indiferente del verso a la prosa poética y de ésta al poema narrativo


About the Author: Roberto Bolaño

For most of his early adulthood Bolaño was a vagabond living at one time or another in Chile Mexico El Salvador France and SpainBolaño moved to Europe in 1977 and finally made his way to Spain where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona working as a dishwasher a campground custodian bellhop and garbage collector — working during the day and writing at night H


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