Like so many intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals (the Cowboy being firmly in the latter category), the Cowboy is slowly plowing his way through 2666.  Tonight, frustrated after trying unsuccessfully to complete a long post that he has been working on for more than a few days, he sat down to read a few pages of the “labyrinth”, as Eliza Honey at the New Yorker Book Blog calls it, before going to bed.

The Cowboy is in Part II of the almost 900-page novel.  And he stopped to look up Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymade Malhereux“, which one of the characters recreates in the novel.  Suddenly, he found himself marveling at the way in which Bolaño seems to be everywhere, and how it is so easy to find a discussion of the exact passage that one is currently reading.

The Cowboy is a courtly lover, per the post.  Despite iconography to the contrary, that description probably fits the Cowboy in other realms as well.


The Cowboy started it just before those kids at the New Yorker, right after Christmas.  He’s not making any speed records, but that’s okay.  He’s having fun with it.  Especially the language.  Unlike those New York types, however, the Cowboy is quite familiar with the territory around “Santa Teresa”.  He even bought his copy in that neck of the woods (or cactus).

Now for a confession: the Cowboy is reading it en inglés.  He definitely feels a sense of guilt over reading it in translation, but what are you going to do?  It’s easier.  Maybe he’ll do it en español the next time around.

Here’s an interesting bit:

“‘We’re in a place surrounded by the past. All these stars…’ and she draws his attention to the stars: All this light is dead,’ said Ingeborg. ‘All this light was emitted thousands and millions of years ago. It’s the past, do you see? When these stars cast their light, we didn’t exist, life on Earth didn’t exist, even Earth didn’t exist. This light was cast a long time ago. It’s the past, we’re surrounded by the past, everything that no longer exists or exists only in memory or guesswork is there now, above us, shining on the mountains and the snow and we can’t do anything to stop it.’”

For the Cowboy, some of the coincidences around this book are just downright creepy.  Now, where was I.  Ah yes, page 191.

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 23:30  Comments Off on 191  
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