Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bolaño 'syllabus'

The litblog The Millions offers what it calls a Bolaño syllabus, suggesting a course of reading that eases new readers in to the author's fantastic works. It's a great idea, but I'm not sure I agree with the recommendation to read so many things before getting to the orgasmic pleasure of The Savage Detectives. Before reading that masterpiece, I had only read a few Bolaño short stories and didn't feel particularly initiated, but once I had started on TSD I never looked back. Most of all, I would hate for anyone to become discouraged before reading TSD, which is one of those books you push on everyone, like the CD (or LP, depending on your generation) that changed your life. (By the way, I love the phrase used by the lead reviewer on that Amazon page to describe YMG's masterpiece (and only full-length LP) Colossal Youth: "gorgeous austerity.")


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