>>7536492 Nah, I've read so many good books that the smallest discrepancies in quality can destroy my immersion and make me scowl in disgust. Needless to say I have scowled throughout the entirety of 2666.
>>7536459 The structure of the rape pages give body and weight to the dull circular thud of life that this book lives. It sells life as monotonous and oppressive and violent and something not all together worthwhile. The rape pages give insight and meaning into Amilfatano's downward spiral into bleak nothing. They give direction to the chaotic lives of the critics. And they are what Archilboldi burdens and unburdens and burdens again. Without the rape pages there would be no feeling of lightness or escape in the sections where Archilboldi swims in the ocean. They give you some footing to push against. They let you imagine their oppisite. Or you can drown in them.
>>7536560 If there is one word that this book screams it is entropy. Our rich inner lives are eroded by the disgusting events of everyday by those people who have already given up and so now they pass their disease on by as fast and multiple a route as possible, by the sun which is too hot and tightens the desert's skin, by our own tightening and aging skin. But we suffer in silence. We rearrange our disintegrating blocks into patterns of growing complexity and call it progress. I think his vision was not hopeless. I think he left a dim flickering candlelight to follow through the mouth of the chasm. Generosity and Sympathy. There are the elements which when introduced bring clarity to the chaos. They bestow a power that brings the drifting elements of life back together again, close enough to be stepping stones. Liz found happiness when she gave her love to moroni at last. Archimboldi wrote himself into the minds of others and was free. There's a beautiful scene in The savage detectives where belano fearlessly enters a mineshaft or chasm which a little girl fell into and saves her. A chasm where Satan is said to reside. A chasm which terrifies the villagers and which I took to be a metaphor for the minds of others. Bolanos hope is in the attempt. The attempt to bridge over an unfathomable distance into a chasm of unknown dangers. And his entropy comes from fear which causes revulsion which causes repulsion which causes distance which means unfamiliarity which leads to an altogether different kind of fear, not the former fear of an insurmountable task but the fear of the unknown, the fear which in us we have the instinct to dominate through violence and hate. A path to be avoided if I ever saw one. A darkness to be burned away by the light of love.
>>7536716 I've never read it. This is what happens though, themes are generational, authors don't create the theme they pluck it out of the air. Emerson's "Oversoul" would be an interesting read on that subject.
For me, 2666, and much of Bolano's other work, is there to intimate a sense of a concealed doom. The key word is "convergence," where the various parts of 2666 all converge, whether overtly or indirectly, towards Santa Teresa. The events of the novel, and what came before, and even elements of Bolano's other works, all hurtle together with irreversible force towards an ultimate conclusion, to be resolved in the enigmatic year 2666. However, (and I understand this might be the part that gets iffy), it is not our providence to understand in a logical or coherent way what that conclusion is.
Nor is it the providence of Bolano himself. Bolano stated that the entire work is narrated by Belano, his literary alter ego. And it is the cast of the novel (and by extension the world) who is speaking through Belano, who speaks through Bolano. What we get in our hands is the distilled essence of Belano's vision, something that hints at an apocalyptic vision but does not narrate or explain.
(There is also another case of people speaking through others through narrative with the Soviet authors, whose manuscript interrupts the Archimboldi narrative. Story within a story within a story, woo!)
You can look towards globalization and the influence of Nazis/WWII for some more mundane themes, and the idea that Santa Teresa/Mexico is a microcosm of the world and human history/future (both geographically and temporally) is certainly valid. Personally, I read it as a representation of, or perhaps more accurately as signs indicating, "chaos." There is a fundamental, dare I say visceral, sense that something is wrong with the world being described in Bolano's work(s). At times apparent and wide-ranging (the horrors of WWI, the grotesque murders) and at other times personal and obtuse (the chaotic personal lives of the critics, Fate's descent into the chaos of Mexico from sheer coincidence).
I am reminded of the Second Coming:
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: [...] And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The difference is that instead of the age of Christ coming to an end in the year 2000, it is the age of [whatever Bolano saw] spiraling towards chaos in the year 2666. You have the similar sense that a revelation/cataclysm shift/change is at hand, and you get a vast, ancestral image from the collective unconsciousness manifesting itself in the events of the novel as well as the thoughts of the authors/writers, real and fictional, that inhabit his world.
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