Centre of Latin American Studies

Cultural Studies Section

Roberto Bolaño

Suggested secondary reading:

Arendt, Hannah, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (London: 1963)

Avelar, Idelber, The Untimely Present: Post-dictatorial Latin American Fiction and the Task of Mourning (Duke: 1999) [Particularly intro, chapters 1 and 2]*

Close, Glen S., “The Detective is Dead. Long Live the Novela Negra!” in Craig-Odders, Collins and Close Eds, Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Detective Fiction (London: 2006) [good for ED]

Franco, Jean, Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin American in the Cold War (Harvard: 2002) [The Introduction is helpful, as is the chapter “Trouble in the City”, pp. 179-200]

Herralde, Jorge, Para Roberto Bolaño (Villegas: 2005) – includes interviews and “Diccionario Bolaño”.

Levinson, Brett, The Ends of Literature (Stanford: 2001), just the *introduction*.

Manzoni, Celina, Roberto Bolaño: La escritura como tauromaquia (Buenos Aires: 2006) [the articles by Manzoni are good, the rest less helpful]

O’Bryen, Rory,Memory, Melancholia and Political Transition in Amuleto and Nocturno de Chile by Roberto Bolaño’, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 473–487, 2011.

Paz-Soldán, Edmundo and Gustavo Faverón Patriau eds, Bolaño salvaje (Barcelona: Candaya, 2008)

Rama, Ángel, La ciudad letrada (Hanover N.H.: Ediciones del Norte, 1984).

Richard, Nelly, Residuos y metáforas (Santiago de Chile: Cuarto Propio, 1998) trans. Alan West-Durán and Theodore Quester, foreword by Jean Franco, Cultural Residues (London:Minneapolis UP, 2004)

Zizek, Slavoj, Did Someone Say Totalitarianism? Five Interventions into the (Mis)use of a Notion (London: 2002) [See section ‘Laugh yourself to death’ on Holocaust Comedies.]


See some excellent articles in Vol. 18:2 of Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, which is a special number on Bolaño, particularly:

Dove, Patrick (2009), ‘The Night of The Senses: Literary (Dis)orders in Nocturno de Chile’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 18: 2, pp. 141-154.

Derbyshire, Philip (2009), ‘Los detectives salvajes: Line, loss and the Political’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 18: 2, pp. 167-176. 

Franco, Jean (2009), ‘Questions for Bolaño’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 18: 2, pp. 207-217.

López-Vicuña, Ignacio (2009), ‘The Violence of Writing: Literature and Discontent in Roberto Bolaño’s “Chilean’ Novels”’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 18:2, 155-166.

Williams, Gareth (2009), ‘Sovereignty and Melancholic Paralysis in Roberto Bolaño’, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 18: 2, pp. 125-140.