On Why We Need Some Critics Like Bolaño


Roberto Bolaño’s Between Parentheses puts the author’s critical and nonfiction prowess on display. It’s a collection of essays and writing from his newspaper column (which was titled Between Parentheses), compiled after the publication of The Savage Detectives. Most of the pieces revolve around the topics of poetry and fiction. The Faster Times writes on the book and how it is a testament to his critiquing abilities.

“Who in America would even talk about the possibility of building a movement around a writer? Who here would suggest literary movements still exist? Bolaño’s attitude is appealing precisely because it is something that is lacking in contemporary American letters. The decline of reading is surely caused by the preponderance of other entertainment options, but it doesn’t help that so few people seem to treat literature like something worth bleeding for.”

Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →