898 Pages Later . . .
2666 is a true masterpiece. I plan on writing something more substantial later, after taking some time to think about the novel, but in the meantime I want to share a couple interesting bits from the “Note to the First Edition” about Bolano’s notes on the novel:
In one of his many notes for 2666, Bolano indicates the existence in the work of a “hidden center,” concealed beneath what might be considered the novel’s “physical center.” There is reason to think that this physical center is the city of Santa Teresa, faithful reflection of Ciudad Juarez, on the Mexican-U.S. border. There the five parts of the novel ultimately converge; there the crimes are committed that comprise its spectacular backdrop (and that are said by one of the novel’s characters to contain “the secret of the world”). As for the “hidden center” . . . , might it not represent 2666 itself, the date upon which the whole novel rests? [. . .]
A final observation is perhaps in order here. Among Bolano’s notes for 2666 there appears the single line: “The narrator of 2666 is Arturo Bolano.” And elsewhere Bolano adds, with the indication “for the end of 2666“: “And that’s it, friends. I’ve done it all, I’ve lived it all. If I had the strength, I’d cry. Farewell to you all, Arturo Bolano.”