Nota de contraportada para Los detectives salvajes de Roberto Bolaño / Carlos Noguera

Blurb for Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives

The first thing it corresponds us to presage in relation to The Savage Detectives is the passion with which the reader will succumb to its prodigious fictional seduction. Sequence after sequence, the plot that unfolds in an arc of twenty years and four continents hurls us into a vertigo and a pleasure similar to that of the great adventure sagas that have frequented the best literature of all times.

The story told gathers its base in the labyrinth of a double search. On one hand we are told about the investigation undertaken by two young poets, Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, on the trail of the precursor of the artistic ideology they profess: the poet Cesárea Tinajero, who disappeared during the years immediately after the Mexican revolution, along with a few foundational documents that she authored. On the other, we are witnesses to an inquiry into the true identity of the protagonists by the anonymous voice (also belonging to the reader) that crosses the profuse second part of the volume and that extends for 20 years (1976-1996) and in diverse settings (Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Spain, France, Africa). Arturo and Ulises pursue the illusion of Cesárea; the reader pursues the illusion of Arturo and Ulises. The double framework, however, when it is superimposed, unravels the multiple symbolic core that underlies the search.

But the narrative fluidity, the anecdotal waterfall, the sharp humor and the breath of adventure should not be seen as an analogy for the simplification of the product or its trivialization. The technique brandished by the author to present his protagonists, for example, consists in being able to render the protagonists in such a manner that they turn out to be unreachable for the reader, who, notwithstanding, never loses the sensation of always being “just about to” catch them.

Translator’s note: Venezuelan novelist Carlos Noguera (1943) was on the jury that awarded Bolaño the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize in Caracas in 1999. This blurb was written for the Venezuelan edition of The Savage Detectives, published by Monte Ávila Editores Latinoamericana in 1999.

{ Carlos Noguera, 1999 }

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