Lost Roberto Bolano story to appear in the Paris Review


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Roberto Bolaño, author of the 2008 novel ‘2666,’ is a successful writer -- the massive, 912-page book was a bestseller and won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction. He’s remarkably successful, even, because he died in 2003.

His death hasn’t slowed the productivity of the Chilean writer -- in fact, since the success of ‘2666,’ we’ve seen piles of Bolaño published in America. New Directions has been the publisher for much of his work, including ‘Monsieur Pain,’ a short novel; ‘Antwerp,’ a kind of metafiction; and ‘The Insufferable Gaucho,’ a mix of short fiction and essays; in spring 2011, the publisher will deliver a collection of essays and speeches in ‘Between Parentheses.’

But New Directions doesn’t have a lock on Bolaño in translation -- in fact, his relationship is still going strong with his English-language editor on ‘2666,’ Lorin Stein. Stein left Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2010 to become editor of the storied literary journal the Paris Review -- and the Paris Review will be running Bolaño’s ‘lost novel’ as a serial in four issues, over the course of a year.


Titled ‘The Third Reich,’ the first installment will appear in the Paris Review’s spring issue. Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog has an excerpt, which begins:

“Poor man,” I heard Hanna say. I asked to whom she was referring; I was told to take a closer look without being obvious about it. The rental guy was dark, with long hair and a muscular build, but the most noticeable thing about him by far was the burns -- I mean burns from a fire, not the sun -- that covered most of his face, neck, and chest, and which he displayed openly, dark and corrugated, like grilled meat or the crumpled metal of a downed plane.

In our pages, Ben Ehrenreich called ‘2666’ ‘strange and marvelous and impossibly funny, bursting with melancholy and horror.’ It’s a mix American readers have shown a taste for -- and perhaps that taste will lead them to the upcoming serial in the Paris Review.

-- Carolyn Kellogg