The OF Blog: New Roberto Bolaño novel, El Tercer Reich (The Third Reich), coming out in January 2010

Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Roberto Bolaño novel, El Tercer Reich (The Third Reich), coming out in January 2010

Thanks to Gonzalo of Sweet Home Alameda for making me aware of the publication date.

Back in October 2008, there was word that unedited, unpublished writings by deceased Chilean author Roberto Bolaño had been discovered. Around 10 days ago, a title for one of these discovered writings, El Tercer Reich (The Third Reich), and a rough publication date (January 2010) emerged. Below is the March 22, 2009 article from El País, followed by my translation:

El legado Bolaño tiene diversos frentes. Al sonoro cambio de agente literario (de la todopoderosa oficina de Carmen Balcells a la del chacal Andy Wylie), se añade la hoy ya irresoluble polémica sobre si el autor, detallista hasta lo enfermizo, hubiera permitido que su viuda fuera desempolvando manuscritos de sus cajones.

El primer resultado de ese rebuscar se dio en la pasada Feria del Libro de Francfort, donde del catálogo de The Wylie Agency destacaba El Tercer Reich, una novela "completa" mecanografiada "pero meticulosamente corregida a mano". Es puro Bolaño porque hay una especie de detective literario, personajes extravagantes y un sinfín de referencias literarias. A saber: Udo Berger, que querría ser un gran escritor pero que se ha de conformar con ser el campeón de juegos de guerra de Stuttgart, decide ir al hotel Del Mar de la Costa Brava junto con su nuevo amor, Ingeborg, para entrenarse con un nuevo juego, El Tercer Reich, y preparar así un torneo internacional. Todo correcto hasta que el marido de la pareja germana que acaban de conocer desaparece.

Tras siete meses de arduas negociaciones, Jorge Herralde, editor de Anagrama y que ha publicado en España a Bolaño, firmará la semana próxima el contrato de edición de la obra, que lanzará en enero de 2010. "Es anterior a sus dos grandes novelas", ubica Herralde, que dice casi aliviado no saber nada de las otras dos obras inéditas, como pidiendo tiempo, sabedor de que la literatura es la literatura... y sus circunstancias.

And now, in English:

Bolaño's legacy has diverse fronts. To the resounding change of literary agents (from the all-powerful office of Carmen Balcells to that of the jackal Andy Wylie), is added now the irresolvable controversy over whether the author, meticulous to a fault, would have allowed his widow to go dust off manuscripts from his drawers.

The first fruits of that rummage were seen at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where The Wylie Agency's catalog highlighted The Third Reich, a "complete" typed novel "but meticulously corrected by hand." It is pure Bolaño because there is a type of literary detective, extravagant characters, and a great many literary references. For example: Udo Berger, who would have wanted to be a great writer but who will have to make do with being Stuttgart's war games champion, decides to go to the hotel Del Mar at Costa Brava together with his new love, Ingeborg, in order to train himself with a new game, The Third Reich, and so to prepare a new international tournament. All's well until the husband of a German couple they just met disappears.

After seven months of arduous negotiations, Jorge Herralde, Anagrama's editor who has published Bolaño in Spain, will sign next week the contract to edit the work, which will be published in January 2010. "It's before his two great novels," Herralde sets the record straight, saying in near relief he knows naught of the other two unpublished works, as though asking for a break, knowing literature is literature... and its circumstances.


Elena said...

off the subject except in that it's also about spanish-language books... In case you were curious I ended up getting La Sombra del Viento (zafon) for round 1. the selection was pretty appalling at the bookstore I went to, so I was happy to see his name there. I also found on the clearance rack La Hija del Ganges which is a memoir about a girl from Bombay adopted by a Spanish couple. I'll probably pick up a few more things via online resources, but this seems like a good start. thanks again for the rec's!

Liviu said...

Great news; though with my marginal Spanish reading skills this will be another slow read, but one that cannot wait for an English translation.

Also off topic - found a Spanish language author Javier Calvo who just had a novel translated in English - Wonderful World - that I browsed in store and *had* to buy on the spot. Know his work?

Larry Nolen said...


Cool! Haven't heard of the second, so feel free to let me know sometime what you made of it, okay? :D


True, but at least you'll have had more practice than before, so it ought to make for an easier read, no? Hadn't heard of Calvo, but there's a joke to be made about the author being bald, I think ;)

Add to Technorati Favorites