In this interview, as in others, Bolano comes out with some cheesy lines, which he has the good sense to call cheesy before typing them, but the good sense does not stop him from making those comments anyway: My only home are my two sons, Lautaro and Alexandra . I believe he treated the interview with Ms Maristain as frivolously as she was treating it herself.
What is best in the book is his conversation with Carmen Boullosa. CB is as well versed with Latin American literature as Bolano is, and they speak as equals. Bolano is more forthcoming and also thoughtful about his replies:
For me, the word writing is the exact opposite of the word waiting. Instead of waiting, there is writing. Well, I’m probably wrong—it’s possible that writing is another form of waiting, of delaying things. I’d like to think otherwise
In these conversations, Bolano’s love for reading comes out very clearly – he seems very familiar with every Latin American writer across the centuries; he is equally at home with Western writers. He even goes onto say that Reading is more important than writing – a line which has become an introductory quote for this slim book.
Overall, this volume was an enjoyable read, even if the best part of it was a reprinted review of 2666. But I sometimes got annoyed with Bolano’s calculated words and his pedantic comments which kept cropping up.
The Carmen Boullosa interview can be found here. Marcela Valdes’ review of 2666, which forms the introduction to the book can be found here.