Nazi Literature in the Americas: Book summary and reviews of Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolano

Nazi Literature in the Americas

By Roberto Bolano

Nazi Literature in the Americas
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2008,
    280 pages.

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Book Summary

A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Composed of short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA, Nazi Literature in the Americas includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross references, a bibliography, and also an epilogue ("For Monsters"). All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are fourteen thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment," "Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Individuals," and "North American Poets."

Brisk and pseudo-academic, Nazi Literature in the Americas delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: in the space of a few pages he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, Nazi Literature in the Americas offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The wild inventiveness of Bolaño's evocations places them squarely in the realm of Borges—another writer who draws enormous power from the movement between the fictive and the real." - Publishers Weekly.

"Goose-stepping caricatures a la "The Producers" they are not; instead, they are frighteningly subtle, poignant and plausible." - The New York Times.

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Author Information

Roberto Bolano Author Biography

Roberto Bolaño was born in Chile on April 28, 1953.  For much of his life he lived a nomadic existence, living in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain. During the 1970s, he formed an avant-garde group called infrarealism with other writers and poets in Mexico where he lived after leaving Chile when it fell under military dictatorship. He returned to Chile in 1972 but left again the next year when General Augusto Pinochet came to power.

In the early eighties, he finally settled in the small town of Blanes, near Gerona in Northern Spain, where he died on July 15, 2003 of liver disease while awaiting a transplant.  He is survived by his Spanish wife and his son and daughter. 

Bolaño received some of the Hispanic world's highest literary ...

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Name Pronunciation
Roberto Bolano: roh-bAIR-toh bo-LAR-neo

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