An Almost Made Up Poem

Scatterbrained: What is the What,The Savage Detectives, and the Brief Exploration of Bad Adaptations
May 14, 2008, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Book Review

I am extremely glad that I read What is the What?although it left me utterly emotionally destroyed. It is the kind of novel that drives a reader to actually do something… take action… move in some way to make a difference. I have yet to figure out what to do, but I definitely will. I have to do something; there is no way I can’t after reading this novel.

I jumped right into reading The Savage Detectivesby Roberto Bolano which is a novel that promotes life through literature. Yes, it is a very Mathew Arnoldesque, but it is done in Latin America through the eyes of a sexually experimental teen.  The movement mentioned in the book is a fictional and undefinable movement of lit which is the characters dubbed visceral realism. All the characters are involved in at least one aspect of this fake movement that produces some real pretension in a lot of cases. Although this book focuses on a sort of rebellion against society in order to live through literature, the characters cannot help but sounds like a bourgeois bored suburbanites looking for something to belong to. Who really claims a movement while still in it? I don’t know exactly what it was about the novel but I couldn’t stop reading eventhough there were obvious aspects of the novel I didn’t care for. The main character for one is an unlikable, self-indulgent poet who uses women for sex, money, and poetic status (whatever that means). Mind you this is just a description of the first part of the book because the second part is just a clusterfuck of characters much like a Russian novel, and I couldn’t deal. The sudden switch from a one-person narrative to a multi-character orgy of narration was too much for me. The book has some redeeming qualities: its subtle wit and enuendo, beautifully phrased descriptions, poetic rhetoric. It proved to be both romantic and pretentious. What do I do with that?

So… then I saw “Love in Time of Cholera” and laughed as people ran around with spanish accents speaking English in bad geratric makeup pontificating about love. I might have loved if I was on my period and needed a sap story that really didn’t develop the main characters to my liking but prodices lots of romantic much laced with a Shakira song…. yes, Shakira. Not to mention they decided to hire the everso annoying John Leguizamo. I really wanted to love this movie cause Javier Bardem was in it and he’s the cat’s meow, but really… what am I supposed to do with John Leguizamo?!


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I just got to the second part of SD… I’ve actually gotten really into it, it’s so listless.

Comment by Gricel

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