The Woes of Flawed Fiction



0374266743.01.MZZZZZZZAs 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.


The Millions


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2 thoughts on “The Woes of Flawed Fiction

  1. Traditional publishers think that once a writer has written one good thing, everything else he or she writes will now sell just as much or more. For many, the muse just isn’t that generous.

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