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.

  2. Your pretty much right. The pub biz these days is all about sales, not developing writers, their writing, and preserving the state of literature.

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