Posted Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, at 10:33 AM
If only allfans of dead authors could be so lucky. TheParis Review has announced that, over the course of four issues in 2011, it will be publishing Roberto Bolaño'snovel The Third Reich , which was discovered among the Chilean writer's papers after his death in 2003. (It will then bepublished as a hardcover edition by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.)
Thefirst-person novel appears to have been written in the late 1980s, before Bolañobegan the novels that made his reputation here, The Savage Detectives and 2666. A blogger at the Independent summarized the new book as follows:
It concerns Udo Berger, a Germanwar-gaming champion holidaying on the Costa Brava before a big tournament, whofinds himself sucked into a paranoid battle with an enigmatic local figure, ElQuemado. There was, in fact, a real strategy board game, Riseand Decline of the Third Reich , which Bolaño seems to have used as hismodel.
NatashaWimmer, who translated both The SavageDetectives and 2666 into English, told Granta that the new book is "a buoyantnovel, ominous at moments but mostly just funny." Spanish-speakers can read thefirst chapter of the novel here ;for anyone else who's curious, the WallStreet Journal 's Speakeasy blog has a briefexcerpt of Wimmer's translation.
Until thefirst chunk appears in the Paris Review 'sspring issue, you can get excited by reading Paul Berman's Slate essay on The Savage Detectives ("a love song to the grandeur of LatinAmerican literature and to the passions it inspires") and Adam Kirsch's review of 2666 (which "has the confident strangeness of amasterpiece").