THE SPIRIT OF SCIENCE FICTION By Roberto Bolaño Translated by Natasha Wimmer
It’s sometime in the early 1970s, and a blond, lanky, 17-year-old poet named Jan Schrella is writing a fan letter to one of his literary heroes, Ursula K. Le Guin, describing his living situation. “I was born in Chile, but now I live on a rooftop in Mexico City, with views of incredible sunrises,” he tells her. “There are a number of rooms on the roof, but only five are inhabited.” Cold-water shower stalls and outhouses form a ramshackle central corridor on the rooftop, bordered by flowering planters that lend a “cheerful tropical air.” Anyone who has seen Alfonso Cuarón’s nostalgia-drenched film “Roma,” named for a Mexico City neighborhood north of Jan’s and set in the same era, can picture the scene. But this is not a movie, it is a book, “The Spirit of Science Fiction,” written by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño around 1984, when he was 31, but not published until 2016 in Spanish; and now in English, in Natasha Wimmer’s superb translation. With words alone, Bolaño summons a visual world, creating in this book, as in his others, what Mario Vargas Llosa has called “images and fantasies for posterity.”
Jan sleeps in the nude on a bare mattress on the yellow and brown brick floor of his rooftop room, which he shares with a fellow writer named Remo Morán and where, he tells Le Guin, he writes “letters and drafts of something that one of these days might become a science fiction novel.” Jan and Remo’s friends drop by at all hours: the charismatic Torrente sisters, Angélica — a prizewinning poet at 17 — and Lola, her “powerful shadow” older sister; and the literary roustabout José Arco. José Arco rides his motorcycle to Jan and Remo’s “at 3 or 4 in the morning, waking us up with a long cry, like a wolf.” By day, while Jan reads, Remo and José Arco ride around town on the motorcycle, Remo perched on the “precarious” rear seat, investigating the sudden proliferation of literary magazines in Mexico City — from 32 to 661 in one year. They track down a publisher who dismisses the phenomenon; the magazines are “photocopied sheets, mimeographed sheets, even handwritten sheets,” he scoffs, as ephemeral as a “distant jet trail” (a concept Bolaño would revisit in his 1996 novel “Distant Star”).
Bolaño’s admirers will find in these themes and players a satisfying proleptic glimpse of his picaresque masterpiece, 1998’s “The Savage Detectives” — a circuitous hunt for vestiges of an underground “visceral realist” literary movement and its muse, the poet Cesárea Tinajero, which starts in Mexico City and detours to the Sonora Desert, Paris, San Diego, Barcelona and elsewhere.
Angélica and Lola Torrente prefigure Angélica and María Font, José Arco anticipates Ulises Lima and a toothless Tiresian poetess named Estrellita gives a foretaste of Tinajero; but these characters, archetypes for Bolaño, are integrated here into a narrower time frame. At the Torrentes’ house, Remo falls in love with a girl named Laura, and a chapter about their visits to Mexico City’s bathhouses, which appeared out of context in Bolaño’s posthumous poetry collection, “The Unknown University,” forms a natural coda here. It can be reckless to draw connections between an author’s life and his work, but this book invites such comparisons. Late in the novel, when Jan writes a letter to another sci-fi hero, he signs it with the pseudonym “Roberto Bolaño.” The reader thrills at this revelation, one of many “coded messages” in this playfully difficult, gem-choked puzzle of a book, and the most nakedly exposed. “The Spirit of Science Fiction” serves as a key to Bolaño’s later work, unlocking clues to his abiding obsessions.
“It’s true,” she says. “The celebrating gets out of hand. That’s the way it always is.”
Back in Mexico City, José has persuaded Remo to buy a motorcycle of his own. Together they traverse the shadow streets of Bolaño’s memory at dawn: “The geometric landscape of the neighborhoods, even the colors, had a provisional look, filigreed and full of energy, and if you sharpened your gaze and a certain latent madness you could feel sadness in the form of flying sparks,” Remo thinks. “Not a melancholy sadness, but a devastating, paradoxical sadness that cried out for life, radiant life, wherever it might be.”
Bolaño’s friends and peers often asked him why he never returned to live in the city that formed him and fed his imagination. One of these, the writer Juan Villoro, gave a reason in a 2010 documentary, “Roberto Bolaño: El Ultimo Maldito.” Bolaño did not want to return, he suggested, because “he did not want to alter the phantasmagoric Mexico that he had marvelously constructed in his literature.” But there was another reason, which this early fictional tribute proves: He did not need to return because he had taken Mexico City with him.B:
【不】【过】【对】【此】，【林】【南】【完】【全】【没】【有】【怜】【香】【惜】【玉】【之】【心】。 “【滚】【吧】！” 【林】【南】【淡】【淡】【说】【道】。 “【你】！” 【那】【女】【性】【真】【仙】【此】【时】【也】【没】【有】【颜】【面】【继】【续】【留】【下】，【只】【能】【愤】【愤】【不】【已】【的】【离】【去】。 【而】【到】【了】【此】【时】，【整】【个】【拍】【卖】【会】【也】【已】【经】【结】【束】，【林】【南】【带】【着】【柳】【如】【卿】【和】【两】【个】【女】【儿】【离】【开】【了】【拍】【卖】【场】。 【到】【了】【外】【面】，【站】【在】【中】【州】【皇】【城】【的】【广】【场】【上】，【林】【南】【释】【放】【神】【念】，【通】【知】【正】【在】【游】
【说】【起】【娃】【娃】【菜】，【想】【必】【大】【家】【都】【不】【会】【很】【陌】【生】。【娃】【娃】【菜】【帮】【薄】【而】【甜】【嫩】，【味】【道】【甘】【甜】，【营】【养】【丰】【富】，【含】【维】【生】【素】，【微】【量】【元】【素】，【还】【有】【丰】【富】【的】【纤】【维】【素】【等】。【价】【格】【方】【面】【比】【普】【通】【的】【白】【菜】【略】【高】。八仙过海电视剧2008【李】【冉】【嘴】【上】【虽】【然】【这】【么】【说】，【但】【是】【对】【于】【几】【个】【小】【时】【之】【前】【发】【生】【的】【事】【情】，【现】【在】【也】【是】【心】【有】【余】【悸】。 【下】【午】【到】【上】【课】【的】【时】【候】，【上】【课】【铃】【打】【响】【了】，【李】【冉】【就】【去】【了】【班】【级】，【在】【去】【班】【级】【的】【路】【上】，【学】【校】【里】【到】【处】【都】【是】【乱】【哄】【哄】【的】【声】【音】。 【刚】【开】【始】【李】【冉】【以】【为】【是】【有】【班】【级】【在】【上】【体】【育】【课】，【也】【就】【没】【有】【太】【在】【意】，【可】【是】【到】【了】【办】【班】【里】【以】【后】，【竟】【然】【没】【有】【看】【到】【学】【生】。 【李】【冉】【就】【感】【觉】【到】
【谁】【都】【无】【法】【否】【认】，【阿】【方】【斯】【的】【演】【说】【充】【满】【引】【导】【性】，【感】【染】【力】【和】【蛊】【惑】【力】，【它】【让】【人】【不】【自】【觉】【怀】【疑】【之】【前】【的】【判】【断】，【同】【时】【对】【他】【产】【生】【同】【情】，【乃】【至】【认】【同】【感】。 【四】【周】【围】【同】【情】【和】【支】【持】【阿】【方】【斯】【的】【声】【音】【渐】【渐】【多】【起】【来】【了】。 【艾】【希】【莉】【娅】【和】【伊】【恩】【在】【他】【们】【中】【间】，【感】【觉】【很】【憋】【屈】，【努】【力】【想】【说】【些】【什】【么】，【但】【是】【一】【时】【之】【间】【整】【理】【不】【出】【思】【路】【和】【充】【分】【的】【逻】【辑】，【且】【他】【们】【其】【实】【也】【没】【有】【充】【分】
【以】【结】【界】【的】【幻】【术】【结】【果】【隐】【藏】【自】【己】【的】【杀】【气】，【索】【性】【驾】【驭】【银】【之】【丝】【勒】【住】【对】【方】【的】【脖】【颈】——【这】【是】【单】【独】【一】【人】【面】【临】【绮】【礼】【的】【爱】【丽】【斯】【菲】【尔】【为】【自】【己】【订】【定】【的】【战】【术】。 ——【即】【使】【赌】【上】【性】【命】，【也】【要】【阻】【止】【言】【峰】【绮】【礼】。 【即】【使】【她】【已】【经】【尽】【大】【约】【的】【高】【估】【了】【言】【峰】【绮】【礼】，【她】【也】【没】【想】【到】【他】【仅】【仅】【依】【靠】【脖】【颈】【的】【肌】【肉】【就】【能】【抗】【衡】【强】【化】【过】【的】【金】【属】【线】。【但】【就】【算】【如】【此】，【在】【爱】【丽】【斯】【菲】【尔】【的】【魔】