Feb 27, 2020
The Last Interview and Other Conversations
Posted by Roberto Bolaño Mónica Maristain Marcela Valdes Sybil Perez Tom McCartan

With the release of Roberto Bola o s The Savage Detectives in 1998,journalist Monica Maristain discovered a writer capable of befriending his readers After exchanging several letters with Bola o, Maristain formed a friendship of her own, culminating in an extensive interview with the novelist about truth and consequences, an interview that turned out to be Bola o s lastWith the release of Roberto Bola o s The Savage Detectives in 1998,journalist Monica Maristain discovered a writer capable of befriending his readers After exchanging several letters with Bola o, Maristain formed a friendship of her own, culminating in an extensive interview with the novelist about truth and consequences, an interview that turned out to be Bola o s last.Appearing for the first time in English, Bola o s final interview is accompanied by a collection of conversations with reporters stationed throughout Latin America, providing a rich context for the work of the writer who, according to essayist Marcela Valdes, is a T.S Eliot or Virginia Woolf of Latin American letters As in all of Bola o s work, there is also wide ranging discussion of the author s many literary influences Explanatory notes on authors and titles that may be unfamiliar to English language readers are included here The interviews, all of which were completed during the writing of the gigantic 2666, also address Bola o s deepest personal concerns, from his domestic life and two young children to the realities of a fatal disease.

  • Title: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • Author: Roberto Bolaño Mónica Maristain Marcela Valdes Sybil Perez Tom McCartan
  • ISBN: 9781933633831
  • Page: 190
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Last Interview and Other Conversations With the release of Roberto Bola o s The Savage Detectives in journalist Monica Maristain discovered a writer capable of befriending his readers After exchanging several letters with Bola o Mari

    Mike Puma

    I decided to re-read this one in anticipation of Bolaño’s Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003 due later this month. I thought: it’s short, quickly accomplished, and that it will allow me a ‘jump’ in the Reading Challenge, freeing up some time for something longer (more Marías?) or something meatier (the upcoming Bolaño).I happily proceeded, getting a kick out of his occasional contrariness and admiring his familiarity with and advocacy for various other Centr [...]


    Worth it as a wafer-thin dessert after the gluttony session of 2666. The "last interview" itself seemed to offer short witty Bolanoesque responses to questions from Padgett Powell's The Interrogative Mood: Do you like cats or dogs? What makes your jaw hurt laughing? The other interviews often read like excerpts from his other books about other books. The part I found most interesting was the part of the intro called "the part about the journalist" -- about the Mexico City journalist Bolano ficti [...]

    Alborz Baghipour

    گفت‌وگو های کمی از روبرتو بولانیو در دست است -او خیلی دیر مشهور شد و مرگش در سن پنجاه سالگی هم نابه‌هنگام بود. این کتابِ کم حجم شامل چهار گفت‌وگو با او و یک مقاله درباره‌ی اوست. در این میان، آخرین گفت‌وگوی او که در سال 2003 و با مجله ی «پلی بوی»ِ مکزیک انجام داده بود و در آمریکای [...]


    Although I enjoyed Monica Maristain's oral biography Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations, her "last interview" for the Mexican edition of Playboy is kind of silly. The intro, however, by Marcela Valdes is an essential introduction to 2666.


    Bolaño's interviews are both fun to read and somewhat infuriating. He vacillates between being serious/judgmental and silly/carefree. This was a joy to read.


    Il libro è parecchio interessante per qualsiasi aficionado del grande romanziere scomparso prima del completamento di 2666 (il grande libro che verrà pubblicato postumo). Oltre alle brillanti interviste (di Hectòr Soto e Matìas Bravo, di Carmen Boullosa, di Eliseo Alvarez, di Monica Maristain, di Raul Schenardi) che compongono la parte centrale del breve volume (e una di esse era già stata pubblicata in “Fra Parentesi” -Adelphi 2010), concesse negli ultimi anni di vita, poco dopo la pub [...]


    the last interview & other conversations is obviously a must read for anyone seeking greater understanding of the enigmatic chilean author. comprised of four interviews, this slim collection begins with an insightful and very well written introductory essay entitled "alone among the ghosts," by marcela valdes, that further elucidates how and why bolaño came to write 2666. while two of these interviews (bomb & playboy mexico) were easily available before this book, to have four distinct [...]

    Tyler Jones

    A bit of an odd little book that one suspects was cobbled together to cash in on the posthumous popularity of Bolaño, it nevertheless provides a great many insights into the man behind the colossal novels The Savage Detectives and 2666.The longest piece in the book is the introduction, which provides some background on Bolaño, but is in fact largely an examination of how he researched a section of 2666 (The Part about the Crimes) by closely following the investigations of the real life killing [...]

    Matthew Balliro

    Editorial note that has nothing to do with the book's content: I've heard some rumblings about how lots of the interviews and essays in this book are available for free on the internet. It's true; I can't deny this. But, honestly, if you're a fan of Bolaño, you should still pick this up. It's been translated with editorial direction, not just by some guy on the internet using Google Translate; the footnotes are great, giving micro-bios about the many Spanish-language authors mentioned; and it's [...]

    Jim Coughenour

    Roberto Bolaño: The Last Interview actually consists of a short introduction and four intelligently-annotated interviews, trim with Bolaño's sharp insight and unsentimental charm. Unfortunately, the last interview (for Playboy) is the worst. The interviewer, who is far from stupid, can't hold back from asking questions like "Is the world without remedy?" or (for the final question, which would have killed Bolaño even if he hadn't been dying) "Do you confess to having lived?" Maybe that sounds [...]


    In reading this wonderfully entertaining gem I was reminded that when I first read Bolaño, about 2 years ago, I felt like I wanted to write poetry. I mean I really wanted to write. Actually, what happened is I first began sketching ideas for short stories, novels, and poems. Its been two years and now I can't NOT write. But that said, I have difficulties. I am not the type that is trapped in my room 8 hours a day, pouring words out of myself onto paper. For me, it is a struggle. And I suppose f [...]


    Bolaño in conversation can sometimes crack you up, sometimes give you serious pause. He's very quotable. And what a bibliophile! He seemed to have read all the essential works from Latin America and beyond. He is generous in sharing his opinionated estimations of writers; he certainly knows his titans (Cervantes, Borges, Rulfo, Kafka, Twain, Melville, etc.).This book of interviews is tailored for Bolaño aficionados. Considering that about 40% of its content is available online, this appears at [...]


    Roberto Bolaño is a great writer, but he died before his literary reputation took off. Consequently, before 2003, there weren't that many good interviews with him. The Last Interview and Other Conversations is an interesting read, but I get the feeling that the interviewers didn't know the right questions to ask.

    Tanuj Solanki

    Necessary for the completist. You can't miss the essence of your favortire writer.Sample this:"Positions are positions, sex is sex."Indian girls might be excited about the fact that the most beautiful woman Bolano glimpsed in his life was an Indian woman in Spain.

    Alex Geisel

    tons of hilarious assessments and recommendations from bolaño here - i underlined a bunch of stuff!!!

    Wardah Beg

    I love this guy now xD

    Ben Dutton

    As regular readers of this blog will know, I have a great admiration for the Chilean poet and novelist Roberto Bolaño. Bolaño died in 2003, leaving behind him a series of novels (some already published, others forthcoming through the next few years), at least one of which will last: 2666 (2004). This collection of interviews Bolaño held with Capital, Bomb, Turia and Playboy (the Mexican edition), introduced by fellow Bolaño-ite Marcela Valdes has clearly been assembled to benefit from the re [...]

    Angelo Ricci

    Ci sono storie che possono nascere solo nel continente latinoamericano. America Latina, luogo che porta in sé, come un peccato originale che intride le vite, le anime e i luoghi, l’orrore del genocidio perpetrato dai conquistadores, che lo hanno con violenza estrema svezzato a una barbarica alba di presunta civilizzazione.Se l’America gringa, gli States, usurpa il ruolo di parte per il tutto, con la confluenza del suo immaginario paranoico e disneyano nell’intero immaginario occidentale, [...]


    I agree with the sentiments expressed by many people here - this book would never have been published except to cash in on Bolano's posthumous popularity. Nevertheless, it brings out a candid Bolano, and some of the interviews are more conversations between writers, and hence enjoyable. The least inspiring conversation in the book is the Last Interview where Mónica Maristain asks Bolano some superficial questions which he answers in one liners, and she never delves into details - not that I am [...]

    Patricia Murphy

    I curate a collection of interviews for my magazine. The main difficulty is trying to anticipate how an author will respond to different questions. All of our questions are text-centric. We study all of an author's work: interviews, articles, books. We include only a very few questions about craft, process, or personal history. No matter how carefully we compose the interviews, we've found that some authors come across as generous and delightful and warm, while others come across as surly and ar [...]


    What struck me as most valuable here were Bolano's comments on other writers. I find that reading books by writers my favourite writers love is the most rewarding approach to the massive literary world that confronts me every time I walk into any kind of bookstore. It's easy to get disappointed by books on 'classics' lists (lasting literary fame is based on so many suspect factors, I think, that it's rarely a good guide to literary exploration), but it's rare that a favourite author's literary t [...]

    Massimiliano Laviola

    Chi può citare nella stessa intervista Borges e Vittorio Gassman? Quale grande scrittore rilascia la sua ultima intervista a Playboy? Solo un genio come Roberto Bolaño poteva farlo. Giustamente nel saggio finale di questo libro Nicola Lagioia lo definisce "un riapritore di giochi, che rappresenti cioè, malgrado vi abbia sostato soltanto per tre anni, il primo vero grande scrittore del ventunesimo secolo". Non mi azzardo in commenti o giudizi sui libri di Bolaño, troppo complessi e allo stess [...]

    Pickle Farmer

    Already read most of these before. Favorite new Bolaño quote: "Being a writer is pleasant--no, pleasant isn't the word--it's an activity that has its share of amusing moments, but I know of other things that are even more amusing, amusing in the same way that literature is for me. Holding up banks, for example. Or directing movies. Or being a gigolo. Or being a child again and playing on a more or less apocalyptic soccer team. Unfortunately, the child grows up, the bank robber is killed, the di [...]

    Jigar Brahmbhatt

    These interviews are a bit insightful and make for a very fast and speedy read. The real delight is Bolano himself, whose knowledge on literature was no less, I believe, than that of Borges. And his spot-on wittiness is quite amusing. When asked whether he had ever shed tear on widespread criticism from enemies, this is what he had to say:"Lots and lots. Everytime I read that someone had spoken badly for me I began to cry, I drag myself across the floor, I scratch myself, I stop writing indefini [...]


    There are a few people who blow me away in their accomplishments, their intellect, their integrity, their lives. Jane Jacobs is probably one of my all time personal heroes; my former mentor, Dave Hickey, constantly awes me in his personal trajectory, integrity, and intellectual omnivorousness; and now, Roberto Bolaño in his intellect, knowledge and skill.And this book shows off Bolaño's intellect, knowledge and skill. It seems like the man has read everything, and he is insightful and brillian [...]


    It's strange to think that in 1985-1986 I spent a holiday with friends in Blanes, Costa Brava, where Roberto Bolano was living. Maybe I met him on the street or in a bar while having a coffee. Who knows. I like very much the novels and stories of Bolano because they are human and intense at the same time. All his characters, and he of course, are full of modesty and it is reassuring to think that Roberto had a face that corresponded to the full modesty so present in his books. He had a nice (ver [...]

    Jesse K

    The annotation, selection, editing, and translation were great. However, I've docked this a star for the fact that I had already read half of it in English, and already read another quarter in Babelfishlish. That made for about 40 pages of stuff that was completely new to me. However, the overall quality of the stuff and the fact that the annotation would be a godsend for someone wanting to explore great Latin American literature (but didn't want to devote as much time to searching as I have bee [...]


    Pretty short, containing only a few different interviews. Worthwhile read for the introduction, which provides a handy biographical sketch. I don't know much about Latin American literature beyond the big names--there is a lot of focus on this in each of the interviews, and the book helpfully provides a brief sketch of those mentioned and their major works, making it easier to follow and a good resource if you wanted to read more widely in this area.


    Bonne petite lecture rapide qui me rappelle pourquoi j'ai jamais été capable d'aimer donner des entrevues. (Ou bien les questions sont plates, ou bien c'est impossible d'y donner une réponse qui soit pas au moins un peu prétentieuse.) Je peux pas blâmer Bolaño d'être chiant la moitié du temps, & de livrer des réponses pseudo-détachées du monde & de son grande cirque. "The truth is, reading is always more important than writing." (p. 67) Bien d'accord avec toi, Roberto.


    - Intervistatrice: Quali sensazioni suscita in lei la parola postumo?- R.B.: Sembra il nome di un gladiatore romano. Un gladiatore invitto. O almeno questo è quanto vuol credere il povero Postumo per farsi coraggio.Non so voi, ma dopo aver letto queste tre righe, consapevole di come è andata a finire, ho dovuto chiudere il libro, prendere una boccata d'aria e giuro che m'è persino toccato di ricacciare dentro quel che sembrava un fiotto di lacrime.

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      Published :2019-07-18T20:08:01+00:00