I recently finished Roberto Bolaño's 2666. It is a stunning book in all ways, I've only begun digesting it a couple of weeks later. Hard to describe or characterize in any brevity here so I am not going to try. A hell of a read, really funny in parts, beautifully written, suspending, and labyrinthine (cliched to call it that) without being dense and never even toeing that line of unreadability that people like Pynchon cross with impunity. I haven't found a review that says much, though there are a great many that manage to convey its power and originality and overall wonder without really giving any actual guidance as to what to make of it. Maybe the best description was this one from Adam Kirsch: "According to Proust, one proof that we are reading a major new writer is that his writing immediately strikes us as ugly. Only minor writers write beautifully, since they simply reflect back to us our preconceived notion of what beauty is; we have no problem understanding what they are up to, since we have seen it many times before. When a writer is truly original, his failure to be conventionally beautiful makes us see him, initially, as shapeless, awkward, or perverse. Only once we have learned how to read him do we realize that this ugliness is really a new, totally unexpected kind of beauty and that what seemed wrong in his writing is exactly what makes him great."

2666 made perfect sense to me in the structure, but my brain is (mis)wired int that way, and thinking about has made me think more directly about my own meandering paths.


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