Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Roberto Bolaño: The Skating Rink

Scott Esposito reviews  "The Skating Rink" by Roberto Bolaño (trans. Chris Andrews)

In his famous (if rather ungainly titled) essay "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives," Roland Barthes differentiated between two kinds of statements found in novels. One he called nuclei, saying that these "constitute real hinge-points of the narrative"; the other kind he called "catalyzers," and these "merely 'fill in' the narrative space" around the nuclei. The Skating Rink, Roberto Bolaño's most recently translated novel and his first published in Spanish, is a book in which it is difficult to tell which is which.

For those who are up on their Bolaño, Rink reads like a stripped-down version of The Savage Detectives' middle section, where over fifty narrators reconstruct events that occurred over the course of decades. By contrast, rather than decades The Skating Rink concerns just one summer; rather than fifty-some narrators Bolaño here gives us three; and rather than ranging all over the world, The Skating Rink roots itself in a town known as Z, a beachside resort located close to Barcelona.
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1 comment:

  1. Hello People, I was on a holiday for a month just passing by read this interesting post its great to see that every thing here is getting more lively...thanks a lot for these keep them coming....


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