The Romantic Dogs

The Romantic Dogs

Roberto Bolaño Laura Healy / Feb 16, 2020

The Romantic Dogs Roberto Bola o has caught on like a house on fire and The Romantic Dogs a bilingual collection of forty four poems offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary ph

  • Title: The Romantic Dogs
  • Author: Roberto Bolaño Laura Healy
  • ISBN: 9780811218016
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Paperback
  • Roberto Bola o 1953 2003 has caught on like a house on fire, and The Romantic Dogs, a bilingual collection of forty four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet his own first and strongest literary persona These poems, wide ranging in forms and length, have appeared in magazines such as Harper s, Threepenny ReviRoberto Bola o 1953 2003 has caught on like a house on fire, and The Romantic Dogs, a bilingual collection of forty four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet his own first and strongest literary persona These poems, wide ranging in forms and length, have appeared in magazines such as Harper s, Threepenny Review, The Believer, Boston Review, Soft Targets, Tin House, The Nation, Circumference, A Public Space, and Conduit.

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    About "Roberto Bolaño Laura Healy"

      • Roberto Bolaño Laura Healy

        For most of his early adulthood, Bola o was a vagabond, living at one time or another in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain.Bola o moved to Europe in 1977, and finally made his way to Spain, where he married and settled on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, working as a dishwasher, a campground custodian, bellhop and garbage collector working during the day and writing at night He continued with poetry, before shifting to fiction in his early forties In an interview Bola o stated that he made this decision because he felt responsible for the future financial well being of his family, which he knew he could never secure from the earnings of a poet This was confirmed by Jorge Herralde, who explained that Bola o abandoned his parsimonious beatnik existence because the birth of his son in 1990 made him decide that he was responsible for his family s future and that it would be easier to earn a living by writing fiction However, he continued to think of himself primarily as a poet, and a collection of his verse, spanning 20 years, was published in 2000 under the title The Romantic Dogs.Regarding his native country Chile, which he visited just once after going into voluntary exile, Bola o had conflicted feelings He was notorious in Chile for his fierce attacks on Isabel Allende and other members of the literary establishment In 2003, after a long period of declining health, Bola o died It has been suggested that he was at one time a heroin addict and that the cause of his death was a liver illness resulting from Hepatitis C, with which he was infected as a result of sharing needles during his mainlining days However, the accuracy of this has been called into question It is true that he suffered from liver failure and was close to the top of a transplant list at the time of his death.Bola o was survived by his Spanish wife and their two children, whom he once called my only motherland Although deep down he always felt like a poet, his reputation ultimately rests on his novels, novellas and short story collections Although Bola o espoused the lifestyle of a bohemian poet and literary enfant terrible for all his adult life, he only began to produce substantial works of fiction in the 1990s He almost immediately became a highly regarded figure in Spanish and Latin American letters.In rapid succession, he published a series of critically acclaimed works, the most important of which are the novel Los detectives salvajes The Savage Detectives , the novella Nocturno de Chile By Night In Chile , and, posthumously, the novel 2666 His two collections of short stories Llamadas telef nicas and Putas asesinas were awarded literary prizes In 2009 a number of unpublished novels were discovered among the author s papers.


    1. Roberto Bolaño has achieved his primary fame in the US for two massive novelistic tomes, The Savage Detectives and 2666. I read The Savage Detectives and it knocked me on my ass with its mixture of lurid but poetic realism and its wheels within wheels plotting. Sex, decay, the noble aspirations of youth shot to shit by the cold hard slap in your face reality of make a buck late 20th Century Latin American and Spanish commerce. Dreams dying on the vine recalled through the sustained will and lim [...]

    2. Roberto Bolaño era poeta. Su prosa era poética. Su poesía era narrativa. Una densa melancolía impregnaba cada palabra, cada figura. Inclusive sus alegrías eran tristes. Su lírica era elegíaca. La obra de Bolaño circula entre la identidad individual y la identidad colectiva latinoamericana. Nunca abandona la despedida romántica de una revolución estética que parece frustrada para siempre. Sin embargo, esa perseverancia luctuosa se transforma rápidamente en un cuerpo extraño, en una e [...]

    3. Reading Bolano's poetry after being immersed in his fiction made it very difficult to disentangle my brain from his narrative voice(s), and seemingly unlimited storytelling capacity, and really HEAR these poems as distinct things. There are just too many echoes of passages and scenes from the novels, and his prose "stride" is so long and so tireless that stepping out of his novels and slowing down to read a half page of his verse was difficult. But is the fault with me or the poems? I’m not qu [...]

    4. Only fever and poetry provoke visions.Only love and memory. *[…] but love and your bloodmade you take a step, uncertain but necessary, in the middleof the night, and the love that guided that step is what saves you. *[…] what can I doBut remember the nice thingsThat once happened to me? *And maybe they’re gestures of courage, sayingAdios, without resentment or bitterness,At peace with their total futility and with us ourselves.They’re the little acts of defiance that are useless—or tha [...]

    5. Con todo que tengo la idea de una persona que le encantaba escribir y a la vez ser criticado, no soy capaz de hablar mal del poeta. También si algunas veces no entiendo el autor, también los poemas de: Los perros románticos. O quizás, si esta prosa la voy a interpretar con otras facetas, por ejemplo: El hecho, es que empieza a vivir su tormento. Sin saber a qué enfrentarse. O más bien, probablmente, era consciente de dejar un país para otro, pero lo que más se destacó de la mente fueron [...]

    6. these poems (all 11 + 11 + 11 + 11 of them) are hopefully the first of his many to be translated. RainIt's raining and you say it's as if the cloudswere crying. Then cover your mouth and speed upyour step. As if those emaciated clouds were crying?Impossible. So then, why all this rage,This desperation that'll bring us all to hell?Nature hides some of her methodsin Mystery, her stepbrother. And so, sooner thanyou think, this afternoon you consideran afternoon of the apocalypse, will seem nothing [...]

    7. (Ayer lo volví a leer, después de mucho tiempo)Quedarse dormida con un libro abierto. Desnuda, hinchada como la isla que escribe Bolaño, llamando hijo a la nueva grieta, negando el aire frío de los muertos. Quedarse dormida amamantando a los perros románticos.

    8. 4+If you read about any review of Roberto Bolaño's work, you will quickly be told how he is a literary darling (see how long that took?). I don't know or care much about that. I don't read anything because it is popular in any sense. I know that many trusted GR friends love Mr. Bolaño's writing. That is all the popularity I need to induce me to read him. Bolano is especially known for his chunkster novels, such as The Savage Detectives and 2666. Apart from a quick (and enjoyable) preview of Th [...]

    9. Another posthumous collection. This guy is a regular Tupac. And by that I mean dead, but still getting more done than me.

    10. This, Bolaño’s first collection of poetry translated by Laura Healy, is a collection spanning nearly two decades (1980 to 1998). There are forty-odd poems presented in a bilingual edition, which makes it more transparent for Spanish speaking readers to deduce meanings that are otherwise lost in translation.Bolaño was first of all a poet before branching out as a prose writer. This forced change in literary form was motivated by the practicalities of the writing trade. His stature as a noveli [...]

    11. Maybe 3.5 starsI started reading Roberto Bolaño’s The Romantic Dogs largely because it is in a bilingual English/Spanish format and I want to keep up my Spanish language abilities (with little success). I am also a Bolaño fan.Anyone familiar with the author’s novel The Savage Detectives will quickly recognize many of the concerns of the novel reflected in the style and voice of the poems. As the novel is semi-autobiographical so are the poems. Bolaño also maintains his self-centred view t [...]

    12. "Como cuando uno sueña que mata a una personaque no acaba nunca de morir. O como aquel otro sueño: el del tipo que evita un atracoo una violación y golpea al atracadorhasta arrojarlo al suelo y allí lo sigue golpeando y una voz (¿pero qué voz?) le pregunta al atracadorcómo se llamay el atracador dice tu nombrey tú dejas de golpear y dices no puede ser, ése es mi nombre,y la voz (las voces) dicen que es una casualidad,pero tú en el fondo nunca has creído en las casualidades. Y dices: d [...]

    13. Forgot to add this. Looking over the Bolano background since it's one of my assignments for class.Read this awhile back, in an afternoon or two I think. It's a fine collection. Often wild, a little shocking, rich in language and imagery exact and voluble in equal measure. Like the prose but more adulatory and uninhibited, though of course its very strange to say that in respect to the dire, earthy, brimmingly apocalptic 2666, for one example. It's funny- I totally get that he insisted on conside [...]

    14. Roberto Bolaño is currently a posthumous literary star. I understand why. His writing oozes pessimistic realism, condensing the dreamlike voice of one of my favorite authors, Asturias, into the basic building blocks of life. Here is a writer/poet who writes to the tune of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, placing the guttural essence of his life in the free verse of his poetry. It is remarkable.The poems themselves are at times, however, difficult to relate to. Bolaño writes like I imagine a rock star [...]

    15. I've yet to read any of Bolaño's fiction, so grain-take this:I've given these poems a slew of chances-- read them aloud and silently, in English and Spanish, over a month or so—- dissected them with a pen, read drunk, and dreamt on them (literally passed out atop book.) Some phrases and images remain in my mind. Phrases like "In hotels resembling live organisms/ In hotels like the inside of a lab dog/ Sunken in ash." or "We're human beings, my son, almost birds/ Public heroes and secrets.", o [...]

    16. Bolaño is quite the poet! This is a bilingual edition, so those who can read Spanish well will get the benefit of both the original and the translation side by side. I wish more translated poetry editions did this.The poems collected here are not consistently good, but I think more than 30 of the 44 are good. Of those 30, about 15 are very good, and then there are a few that are really special. Bolaño's longer poems tend to be better than his shorter poems.My favorites:The Outsider ApeGodzilla [...]

    17. I fell across this book of poems after wandering into Kramerbooks to pick up Jorge Luis Borges' "Poems of the Night," and ended up reading the two concurrently. I hadn't known anything about Bolaño beforehand, except that a friend spoke highly of his fiction. It's a slim set of poems, 43 poems written over a period of 20 years, and I found each one to be a mesmerizing jewel. There's a tender muscularity to Bolaño's poetry that reminded me of the debt we still owe the Romantics. Byron's champio [...]

    18. Just picked this up and read about half on the walk home. Facing originals are a real treat as Bolaño's work is so hard to get in the original. Buy the book as a twofer -- it's Los Perros Romanticos AND The Romantic Dogs, though I have yet to find Forest Gander's promised 'fist fucking' and 'feet fucking' "in a poem that also mentions Pascal," so I'm a bit worried New Directions put out a slimmed-down, censored-for-Palin-voters version. I'll report more fully once finished.So far my impressions [...]

    19. This bilingual edition (side by side, Spanish and English translation) of Bolan~os poems is a joy on many levels. For those with a reasonable level of Spanish reading proficiency, it's interesting to compare the Spanish and English translation. For example," Ni la lluvia, ni el llanto, ni tus pasos/ que resuenan en el camino del acantilado importan." -- "Rain, weeping, your footsteps/ resounding on the cliff-walk. They don't matter."Another level of interest is to see Bolan~os' familiarity and a [...]

    20. I love the Spanish poems. Laura Healy, despite the amount of credit she is given for her translations, clearly does not understand Spanish tone, mood, or word play and therefore does not do his beautiful poetry justice. It's not wonder the ratings are as low as they are for this book. If you pick this up in Spanish, enjoy it! If you pick it up in English, put it back on the shelf.

    21. I'm a neophyte when it comes to poetry - but I know what I like even if I can't quite describe my rationale. Some of these poems simply stunned me when I read through them - its as if the words are spilling from Bolano's unconscious onto the paper. At times I can race along, other times I am left a bit confused. But I'm consistently intrigued throughout.

    22. review to come - and this is somewhat relevant to tthese poems. I';ve been drinking I will continue. The violence in some of these poems is remakable, as it is in 2666. Watch hockey, drink whiskey, and listen to Guns & Roses - this helps Bolano become a bruise in your heart.

    23. 3.5/5De un joven poeta latinoamericano. Hay momentos en que te toca bien, especialmente si eres un artista Sudaca en Europa. Otras veces me pierde. Me gustó su romanticismo de loser y la épica road movie que tiene por ratos.

    24. La poesía de Bolaño está muy por debajo de su narrativa. De hecho, prácticamente los poemas son narraciones cortas.

    25. Si arranco de mi ejemplar las páginas del penúltimo poema, "Musa", el resultado es bastante bueno.

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