Exile is a recurrent subject in Roberto Bolaño's writings. Far from lamenting the separation from the motherland, simultaneous to that from a lost generation of idealist politics and avant-garde aesthetics, Bolaño turns exile into an ethical opportunity to reconsider history and literature. Nevertheless, the advantages of marginalization and distance from the mainstream end up becoming precisely the most attractive features in the eyes of an editorial industry and a general public avid for a reformulation of Latin American literature in a global and politically skeptical context. Reading Bolaño's conception of exile as a conciliation between Lukács's and Bakhtin's theories of literature as a form of exile, this essay traces how his novels turn the modern drive to estrangement into a post-auratic nostalgia open to commodification.
Alberto Medina; Arts of Homelessness: Roberto Bolaño or the Commodification of Exile. Novel 1 November 2009; 42 (3): 546–554. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2009-054
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