As a writer with some minor following, one studiously ignored by agents and the big pub houses, I have to wonder why works such as Roberto Bolaño’s, Woes of the True Policeman, which is said to be flawed by the writer of the linked post below, still gains a massive amount of review ink.
Don’t get me wrong: I have a reader’s attachment to Bolaño; I can’t take his mimicking pulp mysteries all that seriously, but his stories are quirky and often entertaining with their frame stories within frame stories. Still, they can be hard to read – even to the point of being a chore, and this reviewer clearly thinks so, too. So why the attention?
This reviewer gives us a clue in a latter paragraph when he says Bolaño seems too much like his literary alter ego, the novelist-within-the-novel, Archimboldi, “who overnight became a fashionable author in Spain, where they were publishing or about to publish everything he’d written.”
Ah. He was a struggling, troubled writer who finally grabbed the brass ring of that fickle phenomenon known as fashion. Bolaño dead now, but what the hell. I wish him and his work well.