domingo, 4 de octubre de 2009

2666: La parte de Archimboldi


último round del readalong dedicado a

2666 (Anagrama, 2007)
por Roberto Bolaño
España, 2004

Queridos amigos:

No voy a pasar mucho tiempo con ustedes esta noche porque justo terminé de leer La parte de Archimboldi, y ahora todo lo que me siento es una tristeza profunda.  Quizá se debe al libro mismo.  Quizá se debe al fin del readalong de 2666, que era una experiencia mucho más rica de lo que esperaba.  En todo caso, no quiero que mis emociones se conviertan en una suerte de sentimentalismo barato.  Merecen más que esto.  Lo que sí les diré es que La parte de Archimboldi me impresionó mucho.  Después de tantas páginas de pistas y referencias parciales, era grato poder aprender tanto sobre la vida del hombre Benno van Archimboldi ( Hans Reiter).  Podría dedicar 20 entradas al personaje sin llegar al fondo de su historia, pero lo importante de él es su presencia a un holocausto en Europa y a otro, de mujeres, en México.  ¿Era ya otra baja de la violencia del siglo XX, un ángel exterminador, o la personificación del griego Tánatos?  Parece que hay razones para las tres cosas. Sean lo que seas sus opiniones sobre éso, también me gustaron los retratos de Lotte, Ingeborg, y la baronesa: tres personajes femeninos complejos trazados con una ternura que sobraya los cientos de tragedias al centro de La parte de los crímenes.  Sin decirlo tan abiertamente, Bolaño parece recordarnos que la guerra y no la paz es el estado natural del género humano.  Que la injusticia es el rey de este mundo.  Que las estrellas mismas son una especie de aviso tipo ubi sunt a los vivos.  Aunque él ofrece el concepto del Arte como una salida posible, no es muy convincente con respecto a esto: una señal de su propio talento artístico en mi opinión.  Con un libro que trata de las relaciones entre la vida y el arte y el arte y la historia de manera tan visceral, supongo que la melancolía que la siento a la conclusión de 2666 es mas o menos normal.  Sin obstante, tengo muchas ganas de releer la novela en el futuro.  Era estupendo.

Saludos,

Richard
*
Dear Friends,

I'm not going to spend much time with you here tonight because I just finished reading The Part About Archimboldi, and now all I feel is a sense of profound sadness.  Maybe it's due to the book itself.  Maybe it's due to the end of the 2666 readalong, which was a lot richer experience than I'd anticipated.  In any event, I don't want my mood to decay into a sort of cheap sentimentalism.  You all deserve better than that.  What I will say is that The Part About Archimboldi did a number on me.  After so many pages of clues and elliptical references, it was completely gratifying to learn so much about the life of Benno von Archimboldi ( Hans Reiter).  I could spend 20 blog posts on the character without getting to the bottom of his story, but the one thing that really struck me about him was his presence at one holocaust in Europe and at another, of women, in Mexico.  Was he just another casualty of the violence of the 20th century, an avenging angel, or the personification of the Greek Thanatos?  I think you could make a case for all three of those things if you tried.  Whatever your take on that, I also enjoyed Bolaño's portrayal of Lotte, Ingeborg, and the Baroness: three complex female characters drawn with a tenderness that underscores the hundreds of tragedies at the heart of The Part About the Crimes.  Without actually saying it, Bolaño seems to want to remind us that war and not peace is the natural state of man.  That injustice is king.  That the stars themselves are a sort of ubi sunt warning to the living.  He offers up Art as a possible escape route, but as a testament to his own artistry he isn't really convincing in this regard.  In a book that deals with the relationship between life and art and art and history in such a visceral way, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to walk away from 2666 feeling so remarkably blue.  However, I look forward to reading it again in the future.  It was tremendous.

Best,

Richard


Bolaño

"Jesús es la obra maestra.  Los ladrones son las obras menores.  ¿Por qué están allí?  No para realzar la crucifixión, como algunas almas cándidas creen, sino para ocultarla". //"Jesus is the masterpiece.  The thieves are the minor works.  Why are they there?  Not to highlight the crucifixion, as some naive souls believe, but to hide it."  (2666, p. 989)

Más post míos sobre 2666:
La parte de los crímenes #1, #2, #3, #4 y #5

Más entradas del grupo del readalong sobre 2666:
Evening All Afternoon (Emily)
2666: The Part About Archimboldi
kiss a cloud (Claire)
The Part About Archimboldi
Nonsuch Book (Frances)
the part about archimboldi: the final part of bolaño's 2666
Page247 (Gavin)
The Part About Archimboldi--2666 by Roberto Bolaño
Regular Rumination (Lu)
2666 Readalong--Part V: The Part About Archimboldi
This Book and I Could Be Friends (E.L. Fay)
2666: The Part About Archimboldi
2666: The Part About Archimboldi (continued)

11 comentarios:

  1. Los libros voluminosos son por antonomasia conmovedores, siempre y cuando nos hayan gustado. Hace un tiempo le contaba, mientras leía una de sus entradas sobre esta novela, que posiblemente me la compraría ( 2666), pero unos traspiés en la economía hogareña más la rotura de artefactos electrodomesticos, relegaron el pedido.
    Otra cosa que ayudó a que postergara la adquisisción fue la falta de ejemplares en las librerías de la zona.
    Bueno, creo que el tiempo me la pndrá en el camino.
    En formato PDF estuve leyendo algunas páginas sobre los asesinatos, pero no me entusiasma la idea de la pantalla.
    Sus post denotan el entusiasmo que le generó la lectura, eso es muy bueno.

    saludos

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  2. ¡Hola Richard!

    La parte de Archimboldi es mi capítulo favorito de 2666. Tengo el libro a la mano, he revisado mis apuntes y han reaparecido personajes como el general Entrescu, la adivina que le aconsejó a Hans Reiter que se cambiase de nombre; el viejo que alquila la máquina de escribir, el anónimo escritor de las charlas, el editor Jacobo Bubis (inspirado en Jorge Herralde, el editor de Anagrama) y otros más que me llevarán a separarle turno de relectura.

    Creo que la tristeza se multiplica al recordar que la vida de Bolaño se apagó a temprana edad.

    Saludos,
    R.

    "(...)que la historia, que es una puta sencilla, no tiene momentos determinantes sino que es una proliferación de instantes, de brevedades que compiten entre sí en monstruosidad." (p. 983)

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  3. I so know what you mean, Richard! I felt sad when I finished the book, but I feel even sadder now that everyone is posting their responses. I'm afraid I gave in to sentimentalism a bit, but oh well.

    And I agree about the women! Much more interesting women in this section, especially Lotte. One of the things that made me sad about finishing the book was being introduced to her only a scant 100 or so pages from the end; I wanted to spend more time with her.

    Personally, I like the interpretation of Archimboldi as very human, not a personification of anything. Other people - the Critics, Lotte - try to make him into something larger or more symbolic than he is, but he's really just this man, very relatable and fallible, living his life of wonder and sadness in the way he must. I thought his simple humanity was such an effective counterpoint to where we began the novel, with the Critics' self-important idolatry toward him.

    Anyway! I could ramble on, but I won't. What an amazing book.

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  4. Whenever you write in Spanish, I'm always pleasantly surprised at how much I can decipher without a dictionary. I'm glad my knowledge doesn't seem to be slipping too much, although I should definitely make more of an effort to work on it. And it's great that you immediately translate yourself, because then I can compare the two.

    I think a lot of us have noticed that this section seems more hopeful and somehow "lighter" than the others. I wrote a bit about how Archimboldi, Lotte, and Ingeborg seem to be the only characters in the whole ginormous book who feel genuine love for other human beings. Now I wonder if it's a coincidence that Archimboldi is also the only character who creates anything? And doesn't go crazy? Emily brought up Oscar Fate, but I'm thinking of imaginative works, like art and fiction.

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  5. It was tremendous, wasn't it? And I find I had much the same sentimental reaction as you but with some slight variations in reasons. And yes, I did appreciate the more fleshed out female characters as I was beginning to despair over Bolano's female characterizations in Part 4 as you know.

    And Emily, your point here about Archimboldi's humanity, simplicity is wonderful. Eery in that it foreshadows some of the hoopla over Bolano after his death.

    On to Kristin!

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  6. HOla, Richard!
    Es un bajón este capítulo. Lo del libro de Dieste colgado, por otra parte, tiene un simbolismo potente con toda la historia de violencia que se trata en el libro.
    Che, otra cosa, respecto a literatura paraguaya que me habías dicho. Cualquier novela de Roa Bastos es un prodigio. Para empezar no sé, cada quien tiene sus gustos. También está Gabriel Cassaccia (La babosa y La llaga), que es medio arltiano pero más de pueblo y menos apocalíptico; y últimamente una novela llamada El rubio, de un tal aguilera. Una última novela que me gustó mucho está en sudamericana; se llama Lo dulce y lo turbio, y es de Esteban Cabañas (cuyo verdadero nombre es Carlos Colombino). Y unos cuantos cuentistas que así a la buena de dios no se me vienen a la cabeza.
    Te mando un abrazo
    saludos

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  7. Richard - I, too, felt sadness, and for the first time, felt tenderness in Bolano's words. Thanks for the great read-along. I am looking forward to sharing thoughts about Kristin Lavransdatter!

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  8. *¡Hola Mario! Gracias por leer la serie sobre 2666. Espero que aparezca un ejemplar en papel para vos...pero, mientras tanto, que lo disfrutes en archivo de la compu. Es una maravilla. ¡Saludos!

    *¡Hola R.! Traté despedirme del libro de manera sincera y sencilla, pero todo lo que tú mencionas señala qué rica y compleja es la novela de Bolaño. En cuanto a la tristeza, estoy de acuerdo con lo que dices sobre la muerte de Bolaño y lo que él dijo sobre la historia (yo tengo la misma cita en mis apuntes). Afortunadamente para mí, no tengo que despedirme de Bolaño como autor: ya quedan Nocturno de Chile, La literatura nazi en América y otros títulos. ¡Saludos!

    *Hi Emily! I wasn't worried about anybody else giving in to their feelings--I just didn't want to get all sappy in my post, and I was afraid of myself both because of how much I enjoyed the book and because of the specter of Bolano's death that hovered over the very end of the work! Both R, above, and Frances, in her post, mentioned Bolaño's death
    without losing it, so maybe I worried myself unnecessarily about that at the time. In terms of Archimboldi, I think I'd have to reread the book more carefully to see if I could figure out whether all the Thanatos references that could apply to him are accidental or intentional. What you say about him and his lack of a symbolic value--especially juxtaposed against the Critics' perception of him--is quite insightful and lovely, though. Talk to you soon!

    *Hi E.L. Fay! I found Archimboldi to be as bleak and depressing in its own way as The Part About the Crimes, but I'll save you another rant on that since I already explained why both on your blog and Claire's. I do agree that there are plenty of lyrical and even tender moments, but they're too often accompanied by crises and trauma for me to feel that this section's really lighter in tone overall (the perfect symbol of this is Archimboldi's love for Ingeborg, who dies early after coughing up blood in the shape of a flower). Your ideas about Archimboldi and creativity are really intriguing, though. Also, thanks so much for mentioning your positive
    experiences with
    my bilingual posts. They're actually a huge pain in the neck to do at times (mostly because my Spanish is fairly rudimentary but also because there's the added pressure of not wanting to embarrass myself in two languages!), and I often wonder whether they're even worth the bother given the number of people who comment on this blog with any regularity (I appreciate the fact that you're one of those people, though!). Cheers!

    *Hi Frances! I think it's interesting, as Emily and others have mentioned elsewhere, that many of us have had a sentimental reaction to the end of this work. Not sure I would have predicted that after the outcry over The Part About Amalfitano's alinearity or The Part About the Crimes's brutality! On to Kristin indeed--glad that most of the group will be soldiering on intact. Cheers!

    *¡Hola Ever! Tendré que revisitar lo del libro de Dieste en cuanto a la sombra de la violencia, pero estoy de acuerdo contigo en que este capítulo es un bajón: tantas razones para llorar. Y muchísimas gracias por tus sugerencias con respecto a la literatura paraguaya, la cual es una de mis muchas lagunas literarias (Roa Bastos es el único nombre de tu la lista que lo reconozco). Mi esposa le encanta Paraguay y tiene familia en Asunción, pero desgraciadamente ella no le gusta hablar de literatura conmigo. ¡Saludos!

    Hi Gavin! I'm glad you enjoyed 2666, and I'm very glad that you'll be joining us for yet another 1,000 page book. Hope you have fun! Cheers!

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  9. Es maravilloso , ver como una persona en otro lado del mundo termina el ultimo capitulo de un libro y es mucho más maravilloso cuando se trata de 2666 de Roberto Bolaño. Un libro fundamental en mis lecturas y un recuerdo constante.
    Lo más maravilloso de todo es que el libro traspaso el idioma y el espacio físico.

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  10. This was absolutely my favorite part and now that I've finished, I don't want to let 2666 go. So I've been thinking... I have to come up with a master's thesis topic in a few months. Maybe 2666? Too ambitious? Too terrifying? Thank you for making this a wonderful readalong, and I can't wait for Kristin Lavransdatter.

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  11. *¡Hola Leox! Gracias por visitarme y por compartir tus reflexiones sobre el gran libro que es 2666. ¿Hiciste una reseña de la novela o la leíste antes de la creación de tu blog? ¡Saludos, mi amigo!

    *Hi Lu! Sorry I'm so late checking out your post, but I'm glad to hear that the last part was your fave and that you dug 2666 enough to consider it for a potential thesis topic. Sounds like a great idea to me! Also happy that you're not too busy with school to carry on with the KL readalong. ¡Hasta pronto!

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