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By Night in Chile (2000)

by Roberto Bolaño

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,2985812,252 (3.77)65
Father Sebastián Urrutia Lacroix, suffering from a fever and fearing that he is dying, recalls the most important events in his life, from Paris in 1943 to Chile under General Pinochet.
  1. 10
    The Fall by Albert Camus (Queenofcups)
    Queenofcups: A similar treatment of the evolution of a consciousness, in a different time and place.

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» See also 65 mentions

English (50)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Father Urrutia Lacroix is on his deathbed, confronting the "wizened youth" of his idealistic younger self, and ranting in a semi-confessional, desultory style that runs the entire book without pause. He relates his desire to write poetry and how that brought him into the circle of literary critic, Farewell, where he met many illustrious members of the literary intelligentsia, including Neruda. But Urrutia remained on the outside and eventually fell into a despondency broken only by an offer from two shady members of Opus Dei to travel Europe investigating ways to preserve the integrity of the Church. Upon his return he is drawn into a complicit relationship with the Chilean military junta, until he even he finds it hard to justify his actions.

By Night in Chile is a stinging indictment of the literary elite and their role as bystanders, if not contributors, to the terror that permeated Chile under Pinochet. Replete with references to literary figures ranging from Dante to Ernst Jünger, as well as Chilean historical personages, the novel is best read with easy access to the Internet. Bolaño also condemns the Catholic Church for being "the well in which the sins of Chile sink without a trace." His imagery of the priests of Europe using falcons to bring down the pigeons and even doves of the people they supposedly guide is chilling. In addition to it's intellectual interest, the novel is wonderfully written with lines that are both concise and illustrative. Impressive. ( )
  labfs39 | Sep 25, 2022 |
This was my fourth Bolaño book. Maybe I was a bit spoilt because previously I had read his masterpieces, The Savage Detectives and 2666, but I didn't enjoy this one as much. It has the usual gems you find on Bolaño's books, but the story wasn't as engaging as those book's, or as in the short stories of Putas Asesinas. ( )
  andrenth | Sep 16, 2021 |
Not my favorite. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
Bolano's novel is entirely retrospective, told from the point of view of a Catholic priest as he ruminates on his life as a poet and critic in Chile. It was an interesting structural choice although I found the constant second guessing of the narrator, due to the faults of memory, to be a bit grating after a while. The theme of literary immortality reoccurs and Bolano includes some tales throughout the novel, told to the narrator to reinforce the way in which all efforts are temporal even those accomplished with the most high-minded aspirations. I can't say I was too taken with the book on a whole but the narrator's opinions and classical education made this a more rigorous read than I expected. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
There are a pair of immediate observations concerning By Night in Chile. The first involvees its lyrical quality; this is more a cycle of poems than mere standard novella. Episodes unfold and the focus clips along back to the Narrator, who isn't as unreliable as I first guessed. The second acute sense from the book is one of dread. There are a number of darkened hallways, closed doors, and isolated hilltops in the book. One gathers gradually that it isn't sage to look around too closely.

Confining itself to the Gothic whsiper, By Night in Chile does echo in one trope. There's certainly depth and poetic violence; what I think seperates Bolano is the imaginary bibliography; that Borgesian codex of spectral works which exist in world just so close yet distant from our own dusty trevails. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Det finns mycket mer att säga om Roberto Bolaño. [...] Att läsa honom är som att sömnlös i natten vrida på radions AM-band och höra röster, städer, kontinenter lysa upp i mörkret och åter försvinna.

added by Jannes | editDagens Nyheter, Jonas Thente (Jan 26, 2009)
Det finns överhuvudtaget mycket symbolik och allegori i denna korta roman. Men bilderna är så verkningsfulla och melankoliskt sköna att de inte alls tynger prosan så som symboler ofta brukar göra.
added by Jannes | editDagens Nyheter, Jonas Thente (Jan 26, 2009)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberto Bolañoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andrews, ChrisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Harvill (292)
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"Ta av er peruken." - Chesterton
"Take off your wig"
For Carolina López and Lautaro Bolaño
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I am dying now, but I still have many things to say.
....my cassock flapping in the wind, my cassock like a shadow, my black flag, my prim and proper music, clean, dark cloth, a well in which the sins of Chile sank without a trace
And I shrugged my shoulders, as people do in novels, but never in real life.
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Father Sebastián Urrutia Lacroix, suffering from a fever and fearing that he is dying, recalls the most important events in his life, from Paris in 1943 to Chile under General Pinochet.

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