“Go to hell, Roberto” | Roberto Bolaño’s The Unknown University

Biblioklept

The Unknown University, Roberto Bolaño’s poetry collection—his complete poems, a bilingual edition, lovely, beautiful, over 800 pages—has been shifted all over my messy house this past month, wedged into ad hoc shelves, even conspicuously, for a time, fatly weighing down another Bolaño text, The Insufferable Gaucho (which I’ve been reading in tandem with/against The Unknown University), swollen and warped with saltwater from the gray Atlantic ocean.

I pecked at The Unknown University discursively, avoiding end notes, taking the rest of the Bolañoverse as my guide or frame or map or background for these poems. I read randomly, trying one poem at a time in no special order, taking crude stabs at the Spanish text on the left hand pages, clumsily matching them against Laura Healy’s fine translation, a poetics that matches the tone and rhythm and cadence and vibe of Bolaño’s other translators, Natasha Wimmer and Chris Andrews.

Then last night, a tale from The Insufferable…

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Published by Willy Martinez

We aim to have quality conversations about “L”iterature within the genres of Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy. We feel that mainstream tends to neglect these genres as having real value in our communities. Reading and analyzing how we study fear and how writers use fear is important to find the monsters, the enemy, the feeling of isolation within our communities.

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