The Romantic Dogs

( 3 )

Overview

Listed as a "2009 Indie Next List Poetry Top Ten" book by the American Booksellers Association: Roberto Bolano as he saw himself, in his own first calling as a poet.
Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) has caught on like a house on fire, and The Romantic Dogs, a bilingual collection of forty-four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet: his own first and strongest literary persona. These poems, wide-ranging in forms and length, ...

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The Romantic Dogs: Poems

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Overview

Listed as a "2009 Indie Next List Poetry Top Ten" book by the American Booksellers Association: Roberto Bolano as he saw himself, in his own first calling as a poet.
Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) has caught on like a house on fire, and The Romantic Dogs, a bilingual collection of forty-four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet: his own first and strongest literary persona. These poems, wide-ranging in forms and length, have appeared in magazines such as Harper's, Threepenny Review, The Believer, Boston Review, Soft Targets, Tin House, The Nation, Circumference, A Public Space, and Conduit. Bolano's poetic voice is like no other's: "At that time, I'd reached the age of twenty/and I was crazy. /I'd lost a country/but won a dream./Long as I had that dream/nothing else mattered...."

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Review of Books
The first gathering in English of Bolaño's wonderfully unreserved poems.— Sarah Kerr
Boston Phoenix
Grab his poetry collection when you pick up 2666.— Barbara Hoffert
American Book Review
We are now given the opportunity to witness Bolaño's mastery of verse. The collection is striking, truly exceptional work.— Joseph D. Haske
RALPH Magazine
The translations are superb—almost all contain a gem.— A. W. Allworthy
The Harvard Book Review
His fiction and poetry do not merely reflect his life...they constitute a single work of art.— Emily Chertoff
MultiCultural Review
Powerful imagery of loneliness, love, and the contemplative moments of life and death in his cosmopolitan world.— Alva V. Cellini
Boston Review
They radiate the audacity of intellect, as well as the cruelty of vision, that have won their author a devoted following.— Mara Pastor
Sarah Kerr - The New York Review of Books
“The first gathering in English of Bolaño's wonderfully unreserved poems.”
Barbara Hoffert - Boston Phoenix
“Grab his poetry collection when you pick up 2666.”
Joseph D. Haske - American Book Review
“We are now given the opportunity to witness Bolaño's mastery of verse. The collection is striking, truly exceptional work.”
A. W. Allworthy - RALPH Magazine
“The translations are superb—almost all contain a gem.”
Emily Chertoff - The Harvard Book Review
“His fiction and poetry do not merely reflect his life...they constitute a single work of art.”
Alva V. Cellini - MultiCultural Review
“Powerful imagery of loneliness, love, and the contemplative moments of life and death in his cosmopolitan world.”
Mara Pastor - Boston Review
“They radiate the audacity of intellect, as well as the cruelty of vision, that have won their author a devoted following.”
Publishers Weekly

The Savage Detectives, the best-known novel by the Chilean-born Bolaño (1953-2003) recently found spectacular success across the English-speaking world, bringing much attention to his other work. Now comes a very competently rendered bilingual selection of his fiery, if sometimes uncontrolled, verse. Bolaño began as a poet, and some of the work here seems to have come from an extraordinarily young man: a record of stormy, untamed teen emotion-the depths of despair ("From these nightmares I'll retain only/ these poor houses") or the heights of sexual adventures. Bolaño moves easily into a blend of surrealism and populism, with in-your-face gestures learned perhaps from Pablo Neruda, as when he watches "a trail of nurses and a trail of scorpions" wending their ways home. Other poems are closely tied to The Savage Detectives: Bolaño's dreamt motorcycle journey in "The Donkey," mirroring the life of the real poet Mario Santiago, will send readers back to the fictionalized portrayals of Bolaño and Santiago (Arturo and Ulises) in the novel. Bolaño the poet's "deliberate immaturity/ And splendors glimpsed on another planet" can delight: they echo his brilliant but out-of-control authorial persona, with its high-speed, self-conscious verbal play, and those echoes will be more than enough to lead fans of his prose straight to his verse. (Nov.)

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Library Journal

With everyone jumping on BolaA±o's bandwagon and 2666 proving to be one of the biggest novels of last year, it's worth remembering that BolaA±o started out as a poet and that poets figure largely in his narrative works. Written early in the author's career but not collected until 2000, these short, piercing poems are full of youthful edginess and swagger-"I'm here, I said, with los perros romAnticos/ and here I'm going to stay." Not just good for understanding the fiction but a nice, healthy slap in the face on its own. (LJ10/1/08)


—Barbara Hoffert
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811218016
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Edition description: Spanish-English Bilingual Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,393,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed “by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time” (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times),” and as “the real thing and the rarest” (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela
Award and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.

Laura Healy has received a Master’s in Spanish from Harvard. She is the managing editor of Harvard Review and the web editor of Zoland Poetry.

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Customer Reviews

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