Roberto Bolaño was a Chilean-born author and poet. As a young adult he drifted through Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, and France before settling in Spain. Posthumously earned the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for his magnum opus, the apocalyptic novel 2666. Latin vagabond.
"He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench."