This is a paradoxical course. Roberto Bolaño explicitly shunned magical realism, the Boom years, the subsequent imitations, supposedly liberating Latin American literature from its hobnobbing with the establishment, and yet maintained filial ties to Dadaism, surrealism, modernism, Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela, perhaps the first Boom novel. Despite the breadth of the oeuvre, it was almost entirely produced during the last decade of his life, published and translated with alarming rapidity, ranging from cryptic mysticism to dime-store elegance. Branded as infrarrealista, thief, terrorist, bookish, and, more apothegmatically these days, as “the most influential writer of his generation,” we will read Bolaño, even though he probably wouldn’t have liked that. Advanced level. Conducted in appropriately searing, slangy Spanish.
Corequisite: Students must attend at least two Language Series events (Mondays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm)