2666

A slow, analog alternative to the internet

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
6453893
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 am UTC
Location: Australia

2666

Postby 6453893 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:33 am UTC

I know I'm late to the party, but I couldn't find a prior thread about it, and I had to order the book from America so I couldn't even start until the rest of the literary world had already finished. Anyway, I'd like to hear other opinions on this enormous text, and I'm pretty sure I'll never meet anyone else in real life who is reading or has read it.

I finished The Critics in three days, Amalfitano in a week, Fate in a month (Start of Semester), and now I'm trudging through The Crimes. So, you know, no spoilers about Archimboldi if that's okay.

I know the author originally considered releasing the work as five separate volumes, which led me to consider how different first three sections would feel if I were reading them as novels, and not part of a novel. Maybe I just can't imagine it any other way than the way I read them, but they just don't feel like novels to me, even though they have the length and structure of a novel.

User avatar
6453893
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: 2666

Postby 6453893 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:49 am UTC

Surely somebody read 2666.

User avatar
Narsil
Ask me about my junk!
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:59 pm UTC
Location: Columbus.

Re: 2666

Postby Narsil » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:40 pm UTC

I was shopping for a new copy of Infinte Jest on Amazon and the book came up. It looked intriguing. Is the entire book accounts of abduction, rape and murder? I'd be a little apprehensious about reading that, then.

Also, I was dissapointed because I was expecting 2666 to be like a year and I thought the book was going to be strange hyper-reality postmodernism.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

User avatar
6453893
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: 2666

Postby 6453893 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

I have to admit I actually put down Infinite Jest to read this. Obviously I'll have to finish it before The Pale King. The crimes only take up one of the five parts, though they are kind of the centerpiece. The other four parts are about a group of literary critics, a lecturer, a black reporter, and a reclusive author respectively.

User avatar
Narsil
Ask me about my junk!
Posts: 2995
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:59 pm UTC
Location: Columbus.

Re: 2666

Postby Narsil » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

*twitch* you...put down....

Okay, moving on, is there anything dreamlike/surreal about the novel? Because if so I'm in. That's my area of interest currently.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

User avatar
6453893
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: 2666

Postby 6453893 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:21 am UTC

I will pick it up again, I swear. It's just that 2666 grabbed me by the throat, and I was sick of carrying around both.

To an extent, I would say so. Surreal is close, but it's more like the whole novel is....plasticized. It's hard to explain. It feels apocalyptic, though you don't know exactly why, and while every individual scene seems perfectly ordinary, there's something very bizarre about it all.

User avatar
Non Serviam
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:11 pm UTC

Re: 2666

Postby Non Serviam » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

Nobody reads good novels, I think they slip down the backs of the bookshelves. My copy's in the back of someone else's cupboard right now. The long section with the murders took me so long, I fell asleep over it three nights running, and it's so depressing, ekeing out the plot one rape at a time... but the first section and the part with Archimboldi more than made up for it. And I think the reason it doesn't feel like a novel, why none of the sections feels like a novel, is that the novel is dead; it's been dead since Virginia Woolf. 2666 is part of the brave new world, that's part of why it's so exciting, but much of the brave new world is unreadable, which is why 2666 is so captivating.

(Try the recipe for brussels sprouts in the part with Amalfitano.)
"It is becoming increasingly impossible to be oneself except on the world's terms." - JG Ballard

Random Precision
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:35 am UTC

Re: 2666

Postby Random Precision » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

I finished it in 10 days, a couple of weeks ago now. I was unsure of Bolaño before I read it (having previously read Distant Star, By Night in Chile and Last Evenings on Earth), but 2666 really made him one of my favorite authors.

I think the structure of the novel is one of the most interesting parts about it. The mysterious writer Benno von Archimboldi who is pursued by the critics in the first part and has his own part at the end of the novel is named after the Italian Mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who is known for his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables and fruits. That's kind of how the novel works, with the lives of the characters from each part intersecting with each other and with the murders in Santa Teresa. I think it definitely would have suffered in the initial regard for it and readership had Bolaño's plan to have each part published separately gone forward.

2666 has no real linear plot and no real resolution either. It goes on all sorts of mind-bending diversions, and stories within stories that take us from New York City in the nineties to the Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union just after the Revolution. One of my favorite sub-stories was about Edwin Johns, a British painter who cuts off and mummifies his painting hand and includes it in a self-portrait. It feels like reading one of those Russian dolls that contain other dolls in them a lot of the time, but I enjoyed it tremendously despite the challenge. If you like Jorge Luis Borges, this novel feels like a novel he would have written, and that's no accident, since Borges was Bolaño's favorite writer.

I'd like to read it again soon, though that may necessitate me getting my own copy. If you enjoy literature, and like a challenge, this book is for you.


Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests