Someplace I read Bolaño writing about Onetti in the context of the Literature of Doom. My apologies, I can’t find that quote now, and I’m too lazy to pursue it. Suffice it to say, Onetti is or is not representative of that Literature. Past Caring? would seem to be well-placed within that context. The lone Bolaño quote I was able to find with regard to Onetti is in regard to Spanish language writers and humor: “Few writers follow the same course as Borges and Bioy. Cortazar, of course, but not Arlt, who like Onetti, opts for the parched and silent abyss.”
In Past Caring? the narrator, Carr, provides a series of journal entries chronicling life after separation from his wife and relocation to the remote Santamaría where he pursues a life on the fringes of the world of smuggling. Having dropped his folder of journal entries, and himself too lazy to put them back in order, readers are presented with a sequence that may have lasted two and half years, or so, or much longer. Who knows?
An epigraph begins the novel:
Anyone trying to put a hidden meaning to this story will be taken to cour; anyone trying to extract a more message will be exiled; anyone trying to discover a semblance of a plot will be executed.
By order of the author
Issued by V.G., Commanding Officer
Not for everyone, but I liked it, even though it seems to have taken forever to finish.