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By Night in Chile

Nocturno de Chile

Sebastián Urrutia Lacroix, an Opus Dei priest, literary critic and mediocre poet, goes over his past life during a night with high fever, as he thinks he is going to die. In his feverish delirium various characters, real or imaginary, appear, turned into icy monsters, as if in sequences from a horror film. By the end of the novel there is a hair-raising anecdote: after the coup d’état, Santiago stays without literary gatherings and the Chilean intelligentsia meet in the mansion of a writer, one day a drunk guest, lost in the corridors, discovers a torture room in the basement.... This picture of the basement of suffering beneath the dilettantes of the literary salon is the one that gives this novel real moral and intellectual bite.Thus we are given glimpses of the great poet Pablo Neruda, the German writer Ernst Junger, General Pinochet, whom Fr. Lacroix instructs in Marxist doctrine, as well as various members of the Chilean intelligentsia whose lives, during a period of political turbulence, have touched upon his.

 

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Roberto Bolaño


Roberto Bolaño was born on April 28, 1953, in Santiago, Chile .For most of
his youth Bolaño was a nomad, living at one time or another in Chile,
Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain, where he finally settled down in the
early eighties in the small catalan beachtown of Blanes. He died in
Barcelona in 2003 of a liver disorder he suffered from for more than a
decade.

He was awarded several prizes, among them, the Municipal Prize for Literature Santiago de Chile - the country's most prestigious literary prize - for Llamadas telefonicas in 1998.In the same year he was also awarded the Herralde Prize for Los detectives salvajes, which in 1999 also achieved the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, the most coveted award for fiction in Latin America. Nocturno de Chile was selected by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as one of The Ten Best Books of 2003. His last book, 2666, has been elected the best book of 2004 by the main Spanish and Latin American cultural supplements and newspapers and awarded, posthumous, with the Ciudad de Barcelona Prize, the Salambó Award, awarded by Spanish writers, the Altazor Award, awarded by Chilean writers, and the
Municipal Prize for Literature Santiago de Chile.


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