Via the TLS:

Roberto Bolaño once said that he would rather have been a detective than a writer – not a humdrum gumshoe but an avenging angel, “someone able to return alone, at night, to the scene of the crime, and not be afraid of ghosts”. Like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, he was a disillusioned romantic with a passion for exposing evil and fortifying hope. It is true that Bolaño would have scoffed at the notion that he was untarnished or unafraid, but he admired courage, and often displayed it in a short life spent largely in the mean streets of Latin America and Europe. He viewed art as a forensic tool, using it to transfix and then transfigure the void he detected at the heart of existence. (More...)

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