By Roberto Bolaño
THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM “ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS” (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW) Composed within the final years of Roberto Bola?o’s existence, 2666 used to be greeted throughout Europe and Latin the United States as his optimum success, surpassing even his past paintings in its strangeness, good looks, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters comprises lecturers and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage pupil and her widowed, mentally volatile father. Their lives intersect within the city sprawl of SantaTeresa—a fictional Ju?rez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, the place thousands of younger manufacturing unit staff, within the novel as in lifestyles, have disappeared.
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Or himself, with legs that still worked, lost on a hopeless climb. Also, and he couldn’t help it, and it was good that he didn’t, he thought it looked like a painting by Gustave Moreau or Odilon Redon. ” He heard the sentence not with his ears but in his head. Norton has acquired telepathic powers, Morini thought. She isn’t bad, she’s good. It isn’t evil that I sensed, it’s telepathy, he told himself to alter the course of a dream that in his heart of hearts he knew was fixed and inevitable. Then Norton repeated, in German, there’s no turning back.
But after a few months of making those mugs I realized that my happiness was artificial. I felt happy because I saw the others were happy and because I knew I should feel happy, but I wasn’t really happy. In fact, I felt worse than before they’d given me a raise. I thought I was going through a bad patch and I tried not to think about it, but after three months I couldn’t keep pretending nothing was wrong. I was in a terrible mood, I was much more violent than I’d been before, any little thing would make me angry, I started to drink.
That night Pelletier and Espinoza slept for a few hours in Norton’s sitting room. Although they had the sofa bed and the rug at their disposal, they had difficulty dozing off. Pelletier tried to talk, explain the plane wreck thing to Espinoza, but Espinoza said there was no need for explanations, he understood everything. At four in the morning, by common accord, they turned on the light and started to read. Pelletier opened a book on the work of Berthe Morisot, the first woman impressionist, but soon he felt like hurling it against the wall.