Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who Would Dare? by Roberto Bolaño
I remember the edition: it was a book with very large print, like a primary school reader, slim, cloth-covered, with a horrendous drawing on the jacket, a hard book to steal and one that I didn’t know whether to hide under my arm or in my belt, because it showed under my truant student blazer, and in the end I carried it out in plain sight of all the clerks at the Glass Bookstore, which is one of the best ways to steal and which I had learned from an Edgar Allan Poe story...

The Quintessentially Victorian Vision of Ogden’s “The Wire”

If at any time besides its treatment of Templeton The Wire flirts
with caricature, it does so in the character of Omar Little.  Yet no
one would ever reduce such a monumental culmination of literary
tradition, satire, and basic human desire for mythos as Omar
Little by defining him as mere caricature.  Little is not Dickensian. 
Nor is he a character in the style of Thackeray, Eliot, Trollope, or any
of the most famous serialists.  If he must be compared to characters in
the Victorian times, he most closely resembles a creation of a Brontë;
he could have come from Wuthering Heights...