Reread. Re-5-starred. Reviewed, if ever so slightly.
But first, the obligatory digression.
Out, damned Scot! Out!—Lady Shakesbeth, wherever it was she said such things.
A fitful night’s recollections of a not quite literary life, a not quite political life, a not quite religious life—historically situated (Pinochet’s Chile), fantastically relived and recounted, sometimes at a meandering pace, other times at feverish pace, with belt-fondling, falconry, and pigeonshit. How postmodern can one get?
Abreviating and reasking the question posed by the Scot (or the ‘damned Scot,’ if you prefer): “Why did you write a list of scenes or incidents that might be used in future novels?” I’ll refer to only the scene in the would-be novelist’s basement, it reappears if I’m not mistaken in several Bolaño novels—Ryan would know; the guy’s much more knowledgeable about RB than I. I suspect, RB repeats that scene for two reasons: 1) to make it real, to readers across his works, a line of continuity, as it were, and 2) because it was real—a real event which occurred in the lives of some subset of Chilean literati which may have taken on post-Pinochet mythic status. But, for someone who’s read only the first third of the novel, well my friend, might I humbly suggest pulling this down from your ‘seduced and abandoned shelf’ for reconsideration?
This is the novel I usually recommend to people who are just starting out on Bolaño. I'm sticking to that suggestion