A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, Nazi Literature in the Americas presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Comprising short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the United States, Nazi Literature in the Americas includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross-references, a bibliography, and also an "Epilogue for Monsters". All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are 14 thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment", "Magicians, Mercenaries, and Miserable Individuals", and "North American Poets".
Brisk and pseudoacademic, Nazi Literature in the Americas delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolaño does not simply use his writers for target practice: he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, Nazi Literature in the Americas offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.
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The most Bolaño of all Bolaño
- andrew ross