Now, nearly five years later, Roberto Bolaño is today's literary Van Gogh; an artist reaching out to readers more in death than in life as the translations of his poems, stories, and novels are masterpieces suspended along the must-read and award winning sections of bookstores around the world.
This is why Melville House's publication of Roberto Bolaño: The Last Interview & Other Conversations is perfect timing. Although each of the four conversations offer a both gentle and brutal picture of an author some now compare to Borges and Cortozar, it is the title interview executed by Monica Maristain that delves deep into the ocean that is Bolaño. Maristain asks, "What is your motherland?" "I regret having to give a pretentious response," answers Bolaño. "My children, Lautaro and Alexandra, are my only motherland. And perhaps, in the background, certain moments, certain streets, certain faces or scenes or books that are inside me and that someday I will forget - that is the best one can do for a motherland." And from the serious, Maristain leads Bolaño to the frivolous with questions regarding Elvis Presley and the stealing of books. According to Bolaño, Elvis and his golden voice are forever and a stolen book is never regretful.
In addition to Bolaño's (figurative) naked dance in his each and every response, this 123 page treasure of a book is also a history of Bolaño's creative process in the writing of his magnum opus, 2666, which is so eloquently detailed in Marcela Valdes's introduction. Furthermore, readers will experience a literary schooling on poets and novelists that might or might not ring a bell; short definitive histories of poetas such as Jorge Manrique and Leopoldo Maria Panero appear on almost every other page. At the end you find yourself chanting, Let it Pour!!!
Bolaño, Roberto. Roberto Bolaño: The Last Interview & Other Conversation. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House Publishing, 2009.