Poetry, fiction, literary history, and politics. These four cornerstone concerns of Roberto Bolaño's work have established him as a representative, generational figure in not only Chile, Mexico, and Spain, the three principal locations of his life and work, but throughout Europe and the Americas, increasingly on a global scale. At the heart of Bolaño's 'poemas-novela', his poet- and poetry-centered novels, is the history and legacy of the prose poem. Challenging the policing of boundaries between verse and prose, poetry and fiction, the literary and the non-literary, the aesthetic and the political, his prose poem novels offer a sustained literary history by other means, a pivotal intervention that restores poetry and literature to full capacity. Framing Roberto Bolaño is one of the first books to trace the full arc and development of Bolaño's work from the beginning to the end of his career.
'Jonathan Monroe’s excellent monograph offers an original take that combines the best of close reading with theoretical reflection. The author explores Bolaño’s broad-ranging literary culture with great success. He offers a detailed portrait not just of a writer, but of a reader. This is, in short, a significant contribution that will appeal to anyone who wants to understand the whole of Bolaño’s oeuvre.'
Héctor Hoyos - Stanford University, California
'Eye-opening and unique, Framing Roberto Bolaño is a brilliant, comparative study of literary genres through the analysis of Bolaño’s oeuvre. Tracing the evolution of Bolaño’s writing from the minimal (the anti-narrative prose poems in Antwerp) to the maximal (the monumental 2666), it contextualizes Bolaño’s understanding of western literary history and politics, as well as his attitude toward readers and critics. Monroe’s erudite familiarity with American and European as well as Latin American literature facilitates the insightful identification of important literary influences, leitmotifs, and themes in Bolaño’s works. Revealing Bolaño’s itinerary as a voracious reader, the book contextualizes his literature, and, along the way, defends its canonicity and importance in the World’s Republic of Letters. An amazing research effort, with many innovative and original insights into a literature that seemed to have reached its limits for future literary analysis, it will be of interest to students and professors in Latin American and Western literature.'
Ignacio López-Calvo - University of California, Merced