Sergio Pitol's El viaje transcribes events of the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva's life, travel essays on the final decade of the Soviet Union, chronological as a journal. A source or precursor to Roberto Bolaño's 2666, the book about the writer Beno von Archimboldi's early life in Germany and in Russia in the 1930s & 40s. At an abandoned Russian village, having deserted from his German army regiment, he finds a poet's notebook from the 1930s hidden behind a chimney. The journal is excerpted for almost fifty pages of 2666, a summary of the notebook as it ends. This German writer fighting a war in Russia ends up in Northern Mexico years later. Bolaño's satellite narration, an epic book for incomplete essays, journal notes blog-like. Which makes them more useless or unreliable, lacking context. A book that devours others, incomplete with an epic's ambition. Maybe under the sign of Nicanor Parra's antipoetry, as against extremes as art demands. Depending on which one of the five books one is reading. A minor, private record of the early Stalinist era.
A visual correspondence with Wong Kar-wai's 2046, but only in a superficial numerical coincidence. The visual mastery of the stories as independent fragments, never coinciding.