The next few weeks of my life are now totally booked . . .
I mentioned this in passing yesterday, but the titles for the five parts are pretty intriguing: “The Part about the Critics,” “The Part about Amalfitano,” “The Part about Fate,” “The Part about the Crimes,” and “The Part about Archimboldi.”
And the opening is pretty promising:
The first time that Jean-Claude Pelletier read Benno von Archimboldi was Christmas 1980, in Paris, when he was nineteen years old and studying German literature. The book in question was D’Arsonval. The young Pelletier didn’t realize at the time that the novel was part of a trilogy (made up of the English-themed The Garden and the Polish-themed The Leather Mask, together with the clearly French-themed D’Arsonval), but this ignorance or lapse or bibliographic lacuna, attributable only to extreme youth, did nothing to diminsh the wonder and admiration that the novel stirred in him.
From that day on (or from the early morning hours when he concluded his maiden reading) he became an enthusiastic Archimboldian and set out on a quest to find more works by the author. This was no easy task.
And if you’re still not sold on Bolano, here’s a killer blurb:
“Not just the great Spanish-language novel of this decade, but one of the cornerstones that define an entire literature. . . . [Bolano] has revived an idea that the postmoderns seemed to have abandoned: the totalizing novel, which aspires to create a complete narrative universe.” — J. A. Masoliver Rodenas, La Vanguardia (Barcelona)
Both the single-volume hardcover and the three-volume slipcaded paperback edition are coming out in November and retail for $30. You can order in advance from Amazon, though I’m sure your local independent store would happily reserve a copy as well . . .