– Nocturno de Chile. Translated by Chris Andrews. New Directions, 2003; ISBN 978-0-8112-1547-3 ; 130 p.
Read from December 29th 2017 to January 9th 2018
“Take off your wig” says Chesterton in the motto of Roberto Bolaño’s novella, By Night in Chile. Then tell the truth, the bald truth, and nothing but the truth.
But what truth? On his deathbed, Sebastián Urrutia Lacroix, priest, literary critic and aspiring poet, mightily takes responsibility for his actions, words and even silences, in a fractured confession that has both the appearance of truth and the suggestion of delusion, although he always seems sanctioned by the spectre of a mysterious, slightly menacing wizened youth:
The wizened youth is watching from a yellow street corner and yelling at me. (…) I can see his jaws and his lips moving and I know he’s shouting, but I cannot hear his words. He can see me whispering, propped up on one elbow, while my bed negotiates the meanders of my fever, but he cannot hear my words either.