Genre: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Spanish Literature
Slowly, I am plowing through the works of Bolaño, it’s like a journey of some sorts. Like most people, I started off with The Savage Detectives. I bought The Savage Detectives and 2666 together after scrolling around on the internet and seeing a photograph of book eye candy. In that pile was a lovely Spanish edition, the original language, of 2666. Out of curiosity, I searched up the book and read about Roberto on Wikipedia, ever since then I wanted the book. So I read The Savage Detectives and after that one I read Distant Star, The Third Reich, Last Evenings on Earth, and the latest one I finished is The Secret of Evil. I don’t know what it is about this guy, but I just love his freaking work. Am I freak? I don’t get it, but I just love his prose. Sadly, I never read his poetry, there’s only so many books I can read.
The Secret of Evil is a short story collection with a few short essays in between. I like this one a lot better than Last Evenings on Earth. I think there was only one short story in this book I disliked, all of the other ones I loved.
I feel like this collection kind of has a more intimate feel to it, it’s more comfortable. The prose is more consumable, it feels more natural. I can’t explain it, but when I read these stories, I felt like I was drinking a nice cup of tea and flipping through the dairies of people’s lives. Living, reading, and doing everything the human body desires, evil or good, some secretive, some exposed, the lives of people, misfortune or fortunate, Mischievous or just being a good being, hiding behind the mask of sadness or false happiness. We humans disappear into time and then somehow come back unscathed or disappear forever. Roberto’s passion for words and literature is just like the passion someone has for their wife or husband; his words are just so sweet for my mind. I will admit that I’m kind of iffy about The Third Reich and Woes of the True Policeman. There’s just something about this man’s airy, poetic, minimalistic prose that makes me want to read more of his work. There’s always a bit of darkness but there’s also the ordinariness of life that makes his work feel like home when you haven’t read him for awhile.