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The Romantic Dogs: 1980-1998by Roberto Bolano
Synopses & Reviews
Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) has caught on like a house on fire, and , a bilingual collection of forty-four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet: his own first and strongest literary persona. These poems, wide-ranging in forms and length, have appeared in magazines such as , , , , , , , , , and . Bolano's poetic voice is like no other's: "At that time, I'd reached the age of twenty/and I was crazy. /I'd lost a country/but won a dream./Long as I had that dream/nothing else mattered...."
"The Savage Detectives, the best-known novel by the Chilean-born Bolaño (1953 — 2003) recently found spectacular success across the English-speaking world, bringing much attention to his other work. Now comes a very competently rendered bilingual selection of his fiery, if sometimes uncontrolled, verse. Bolaño began as a poet, and some of the work here seems to have come from an extraordinarily young man: a record of stormy, untamed teen emotion — the depths of despair ('From these nightmares I'll retain only/ these poor houses') or the heights of sexual adventures. Bolaño moves easily into a blend of surrealism and populism, with in-your-face gestures learned perhaps from Pablo Neruda, as when he watches 'a trail of nurses and a trail of scorpions' wending their ways home. Other poems are closely tied to The Savage Detectives: Bolaño's dreamt motorcycle journey in 'The Donkey,' mirroring the life of the real poet Mario Santiago, will send readers back to the fictionalized portrayals of Bolaño and Santiago (Arturo and Ulises) in the novel. Bolaño the poet's 'deliberate immaturity/ And splendors glimpsed on another planet' can delight: they echo his brilliant but out-of-control authorial persona, with its high-speed, self-conscious verbal play, and those echoes will be more than enough to lead fans of his prose straight to his verse." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Listed as a "2009 Indie Next List Poetry Top Ten" book by the American Booksellers Association: Roberto Bolaño as he saw himself, in his own first calling as a poet.
About the Author
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed "by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time" (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times)," and as "the real thing and the rarest" (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.Laura Healy has received a Master's in Spanish from Harvard. She is the managing editor of Harvard Review and the web editor of Zoland Poetry.
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