As a fan of boxing I always enjoy when the sport finds its way into the story I’m reading. Which happens a lot. Aside from baseball, there is no other sport that is used more by writers of the 20th century.
If you are interested at all Bolano nails how the people of Mexico are desperate for a dominate heavyweight from their country. This past year they pinned their hopes on Mexican-American Christobal Arreola (seen above on the right) much like they did with Lino Fernández in 2666. Both finding basically the same fate.
I did a little digging as to why Bolano was comfortable using boxing as a tool in this story (you might remember he mentions it a few times before section 3). Some writers find the sport and its competitors fascinating (Joyce Carol Oates), some believe they could have been boxers (Hemingway), Bolano was simply around the sport throughout childhood.
I found this quote from him, ”My father was a heavyweight amateur boxing champion. His unchallenged reign was restricted to southern Chile. I never liked boxing, but had been taught since I was a kid; there was always a pair of boxing gloves in the house, whether in Chile or in Mexico.”
Interesting to me at least.
I just finished the first part of 2666 and realized we haven’t decided how we’re going to discuss the book. Should I just share my thoughts so far (minus any spoilers) or are we going to set a date and then all post our thoughts on the same day? Maybe we’re keeping this tumblr for quotes and pics and posting notes and ideas on our own tumblrs? Or possibly we’re going to get all 24th century and open up a google wave where we will tag-team a review of the book? I’m fine with whatever.
What’s the deal?
“ … as they delivered kick after kick, shove Islam up your ass, which is where it belongs, this one is for Salman Rushdie (an author neither happened to think was much good but whose mention seemed pertinent), this one is for the feminists in Paris (will you fucking stop, Norton was shouting), this one is for the feminists of New York (you’re going to kill him, shouted Norton), this one is for the ghost of Valerie Solanas, you son of a bitch, and on and on, until he was unconscious and bleeding from every orifice in the head, except the eyes. ”
Roberto Bolano - 2666, p. 74
This book is surprisingly hilarious in parts (wait for the context if you’re not there yet). I’ve laughed out loud/giggled out loud probably half a dozen times thus far.