THREE COMPARTMENTS

Archimboldi’s writing, the process of creation or the daily routine in which this process peacefully unfolded, gathered strength and something that for a lack of a better word might be called confidence. This “confidence” didn’t signify the end of doubt, of course, much less that the writer believed his work had some value, because Archimboldi had a view of literature (though the word view is too grand) as something divided into three compartments, each connected only tenuously to the others: in the first were the books he read and reread and considered magnificent and sometimes monstrous, like the fiction of Doeblin, who was still one of his favourite authors, or Kafka’s complete works. In the second compartment where the books of the epigones and the authors he called the Horde, whom he essentially saw as his enemies. In the third compartment were his own books, and his plans for future books, which he saw as a game and also a business, a game insofar as he derived pleasure from writing, a pleasure similar to that of the detective on the heels of the killer, and a business insofar as the publication of his books helped to augment, however modestly, his doorman’s pay.

Roberto Bolaño, 2666, p.817

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: