One thought on “2666, Part 1: The Part About The Critics”

  1. I know, I know. It’s 2016 and Bolaño is so last decade. Everyone’s heard the story of his rise from total obscurity to one of the biggest literary darlings of the 21st century. He was so hot right now.I was late to the party anyway. I’d only picked up The Savage Detectives because I’d been hearing so much about this “Chilean poet” and I had basically planned on hate-reading it. I was sure that I would find it to be mushy and lame, like I considered almost all poetry to be at the tim [...]

  2. 5 starshypnotic, chilling.I will take a short break and then read the second novel.will write a review once I read all five novels that complete the whole of 2666 which might take me to next year. This is an incredible start.

  3. The first part of Bolaño's sprawling masterpiece is a deceptively comic set-up for the remainder of the book, which has significantly (and appropriately) less wit than is dished up in this tale of four academics - professors of German from England, France, Spain and Italy. While these four professors are busy reading and writing and arguing about their favorite author - the mysterious recluse Benno Von Archimboldi, whose Italianate name is not explained until part five - women are disappearing [...]

  4. From Wiki:Originally planned as a single book, Bolaño then considered publishing it as five volumes to provide more income for his children; however, the heirs decided otherwise and the book was published in one lengthy volume.This part describes a group of four European literary critics, the French Jean-Claude Pelletier, the Italian Piero Morini, the Spaniard Manuel Espinoza and the English woman Liz Norton, who have forged their careers around the reclusive German novelist Benno von Archimbol [...]

  5. This was just Part I, so I am not ready to put the whole thing together in my head just yet. I understand that Bolaño wanted these "books" to be published one a year after his death as an insurance policy for his family. Bolaño must have felt very sure of his hold on his audience because this book does not feel like a stand-alone to me. It is rather like an extremely talented friend taking time to tell a long and involved story with amusing bits about the way people act and how they interact w [...]

  6. I've owned this book for years but could never find the time or the courage to climb the mountain. Having finally done just that, I can confirm that this is a great big fat work of tremendous art. All great readers out there should be aware of the great trees out there in the literary forest. And 2666 is a big tree. A giant piece of art. Scary and unpleasant human art. But art and for that fact remarkable and notable. Bolano is on a par (put maybe even more incandescent) than Cormac McCarthy. Co [...]

  7. This reminds me of the scene in the film Out of Africa, when Denys Finch Hatton and Berkeley Cole first visit Karen Blixen, who during dinner, boasts of her talent to weave a fully-drawn story from any sentence that would serve as the beginning. Finch Hatton bites and both men are rewarded with a tale lasting to the early morning hours. And so Part 1 of 2666 commences: The first time that Jean-Claude Pelletier read Benno von Archimboldi was Christmas 1980, in Paris, when he was nineteen years ol [...]

  8. 5/5. This whole part trembles with the anticipation of impending dread: something is coming and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Bolano achieves this with a simple technique. He writes and keeps writing in the “describing setting” mode (not sure if this is the best phrase) which is usually used to begin narratives. Consequently, we the readers, keep waiting and waiting and keep dreading what looms.

  9. When I heard that the publisher disregarded Bolano's will to publish every single book once a year I was horrified. How dared he!! . Now that I've read this first book I might agree with him. This book as little sense on its own. It must be seen as a part of a whole.

  10. A Parte dos Críticos: Aqui temos o estilo que me encantou em Os Detetives Selvagens, aficionados em busca de um autor, a prosa de Bolaño é precisa e envolvente.

  11. Holy shit. The writing is amazing. The plot and the sentences move like a run-away train, taking you where you don’t expect to go. So much of this first portion makes me all kinds of jealous. I’m not sure how many times I stopped to read out-loud, awestruck and delighted and envious. The first section of 2666 covers the glorious academic life of a bygone era -- the late 1980s / early 1990s, before so many adjuncts darkened the hallways like non-unionized miners and when faculty had enough fu [...]

  12. Bolano's masterpiece is set a short distance from where I grew up in Arizona, but a world apart. We are in a world of literary critics, love triangles, and self-mutilating artists, but more importantly we move to a haunted northern Mexico. The crimes that form the backbone of the fear cascading through this book really happened, in Juarez, and that mystery and pain informs much of the book. The power of the book also comes from its gorgeous style and its terrifying digressions. There is a four-p [...]

  13. This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Bolaño's style is so unique; he describes scenes/thoughts/objects/people for pages and pages, sometimes until you think you'll go mad. He talks about everything and nothing. You get to know these character's inner thoughts and feelings on a deeper level than most. I'm quite intrigued to see where the next parts of the story go.

  14. I am possibly not educated enough for this book. I am fighting my way through 2666, part II right now. The reason I am bothering to fight is that I often find that, for me, reading difficult, challenging work ultimately makes me happy. But I have now turned to as a modern-day, asynchronous version of the book group to get some insight into "What the what did I just read?" I suppose the violence by the literary critics is emblematic of the obscene, unpredictable violence that we find in the worl [...]

  15. I read this as an entire book with all 5 parts. I felt midway through this first part, I was going to either go to sleep of quit reading (something I almost never do) As I got through this part, I saw how all of the main characters coordinated. I think the take away from part one, was that the intellectualism of the primary characters and their quest searching for the writer that they all studied, in many respects invalidated their true ability to find true love, the one woman within the group, [...]

  16. This is review is for all 5 parts. While this book is long and getting through it will take a lot of effort, it is more than worth the journey. I'd even go so far as to call it a masterpiece. The 5th and final part feels like it lacks polish, and I suspect that this may be because Bolano death rushed it through the door. I'd be interested to find out if my impression was accurate.Anyhow, some many topics and themes are covered in this book. Violence, love, the Femicides in Juarez, the Eastern Fr [...]

  17. Started May 16. I figured I'd write this 5-part book up a part at a time in case I didn't finish it. This may be a fool's errand (making me just the man for the job) as it is, for me at least, difficult to evaluate this book on its own. Maybe I'll change my rating one way or the other when I'm done with the others. The Part About the Critics starts out a little like a comedy of manners with almost precious descriptions of the characters and their actions. I also got bits of Gulliver's Travels an [...]

  18. I selected this book to read because it appears on Powell's Book Store list of "25 Books to Read Before You Die". The novel has 5 "parts" and this is just Part 1. It probably doesn't make too much sense to attempt to rate each part individually rather than waiting until you've completed the entire work but what the heck. Part 1 was mostly interesting (enough so that I'm going to continue reading) and a little perplexing (numerous side characters with their side stories will they appear again [...]

  19. Have read some of Bolaño's shorter works and some poetry and loved it, but this was wow. Figured perhaps it was one of those novels where you had to get to the end before it all made sense, but I just could not get there. Made it through the first three parts. I just did not get it. Read in English, so maybe that made a difference? Somehow though, I am not convinced.

  20. I really enjoyed The Part About the Critics, its interest in the intersection between the political and personal, its humor, its understated violence and melancholy. I'm looking forward to reading the the rest of 2666, and will update this when I'm done and can appreciate Part I in conjunction with everything else.

  21. My god. I don't think any book has sucked me into it quite like this one. It's smart, it creates a fully fleshed out world, it's captivating, but because of the size of 2666, I stopped for the time being after book one. I look forward to coming in fresh to the next part soon.

  22. Archimboldi tutkunu dört eleştirmenin/edebiyatçının, bu tutkuları vasıtasıyla yollarının kesişmesi ve yaşadıkları içsel/dışsal olayların anlatıldığı bir bölümdü. Bütün bunlar ve bu kişiler, kitabın bütününde ne derece yer alacak ne derece önemliydi şu anda kestiremiyorum.

  23. Easily the most finely written book I have encountered since - well, maybe Joseph Koestler's, Darkness at Noon. Humor, insight and violence blend and lend themselves to revealing what's lurking behind

  24. Not sure where this series is going, but it's a dark, challenging read. although the books were written to be published separately, I feel the parts need to be read together. or I'm possibly but smart enough to 'get' this book on to part 2

  25. Truly a work of art. I'm excited to continue on to Part 2. The way Bolano describes scenes is so concise and creative and something I have not seen before.

  26. I loved the characters in Book 1. They set high - in retrospect, too high - expectations for the rest of the books.

  27. Not really sure what to make of this book. It was certainly readable but not really brilliant or earth shattering. Guess time will tell as I read the rest of the book.

  28. This is Part 1 of 5, which are included altogether in one book, so I'm waiting until the end to rate the entire book as a whole.

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