"The poetry of the first decades of the twenty-first century will be a hybrid creation, as fiction has already become. We may be heading, with terrible slowness, toward new earthquakes of form. In this uncertain future, our children will watch as the poet asleep in an armchair meets up on the operating table with the black desert bird that feeds on the parasites of camels."
— Roberto Bolaño from “Eight Seconds with Nicanor Parra,” trans. Natasha Wimmer
"For me, the word writing is the exact opposite of the word waiting. Instead of waiting, there is writing. Well, I’m probably wrong — it’s possible that writing is another form of waiting, of delaying things. I’d like to think otherwise. … The truth is, reading is always more important than writing."
— Roberto Bolaño, from a 2002 interview in BOMB, trans. Margaret Carson
"He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pécuchet, 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."