Picador £8.99 (143pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Romantic Dogs, By Roberto Bolaño
Friday 25 March 2011
Bolaño, the phantom mega-star of global fiction since his death in 2003, thought of himself as poet first and novelist second. Yet this bilingual edition of 44 poems from the 1980s (in Laura Healy's singing, scorching translations) will lead fans onto some familiar terrain.
In verse as in prose, Bolaño tells tall tales and leads us on journeys through a surreal landscape of exile, longing and nostalgia. He can sound like a Whitman-esque visionary, as in "The Last Savage", or erotically star-struck, as with "La Francesa" and her love "brief as the sigh of a guillotined head", or lyrically touching, recalling teenage hooker "Lupe" and her lost baby. A pariah glamour often lights up his fatalism: "I'm here, I said, with the romantic dogs/ and here I'm going to stay".
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Interstellar: What we know about Christopher Nolan's new film so far
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth sent home in double firing
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Miranda Hart confirms eponymous sitcom has come to an end as she bows out on a 'high'
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are