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QUIZ: Roberto BolaÑo

Chilean author Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was one of the leading South American literary figures at the turn of the 21st century, paving a new direction away from the Boom.  He completed 12 novels during his life and published various poetry collections. For much of his life he lived a nomadic existence. He fled Chile when it fell under the military dictatorship of Pinochet and settled in Mexico, but he also lived in El Salvador and France before settling in Spain, just outside Barcelona. At the time of his early death in 2003, he left behind the 1000 page novel, 2666, his magnum opus, revolving  around an elusive German author and the unsolved murders of over 100 women in Mexico, but encompassing a universe of poetry, philosophy, tales and ruminations from a cast of colorful characters as it explores 20th-century degeneration. When the book was eventually published, English translations of his works followed.  The New York Times Book Review included 2666 in the list of  “10 Best Books of 2008”; Time named it Best Fiction Book of 2008; and the novel won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

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1 Who narrates the first and third section of The Savage Detectives?
Juan García Madero

2  Which work features an aviator in the Chilean air force whose sky poetry becomes famous?
Distant Star   

3 What is the title of the poem that begins:
En aquel tiempo yo tenía veinte años
y estaba loco.
Había perdido un país
pero había ganado un sueño.

Back then, I’d reached the age of twenty
and I was crazy.
I’d lost a country
but won a dream

Los Perros Romáticos / The Romantic Dogs

4 In The Savage Detectives, Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano are searching for what poet?
Cesárea Tinajero

5 Which work is set in Spain’s Costa Brava?
The Third Reich

6 What is the name of the fictional city based on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where a huge number of women were murdered?
Santa Teresa

7 From one of the major works, name the fictional Black North American journalist diverted to Mexico to cover a boxing match between a Black American boxer and a Mexican opponent.
Oscar Fate

8 What is the name of the priest, who, in the course of a night in this novella, confesses to his failure to resist the oppressive regime of Augusto Pinochet?
Father Sebastian Urrutia Lacroix

9 In this novel the beginning focuses on the “critics,” a group of four European academics, who are single-mindedly focused on the topic of their favorite writer.  What is the name of the British critic?
 Liz Norton

10  With whom does the character of Arturo Belano in The Savage Detectives have a duel?
Iñaki Echavarne

11 In 2666 we learn that the acclaimed writer Benno von Archimboldi is a pen name. What was his birth name?
Hans Reiter

12 Although the title of 2666 is never mentioned in that work, it is mentioned in what other work?

13 In which short story does a melancholy young man called B set off on his first vacation with his handsome father, a truck driver and ex-boxer?
“Last Evenings on Earth” 

14  Who fears that he is going mad at the end of 2666?

15  In which work does Bolaño present an invented encyclopedia of imaginary fascist writers?
Nazi Literature in the Americas

© tbr 2023  

The Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit organization


© 2023  

The Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit organization