Timothy Fadek’s Images of Juárez

juarez

I’m about 60 pages away from finishing Roberto Bolaño’s posthumous magnum opus, 2666, an astounding, shocking book that you should pick up right now and start reading, unless, of course, you hate the idea of getting hopelessly addicted to a book that coerces you to read it, that lingers in the back of your mind and gut, beckoning, calling you, even as you should be working or spending time with your family or doing errands or chores, etc. But otherwise: read it. A proper review forthcoming.

Anyway. The backbone of the plot, or, rather, the peripheral story that haunts the plot(s) of this massive, heavy novel, involves a seemingly endless string of largely unsolved murders in the fictional Mexican border city of Santa Teresa. An ugly industrial town in the Sonora Desert, Santa Teresa is a thinly disguised stand-in for Ciudad Juárez, where over the past 15 years over 400 young women have been raped and killed, their murders unsolved. While searching the gruesome real-life back story that informs Bolaño’s masterpiece, I came across Fadek’s eerie and sympathetic images of Juárez (this background story on Fadek and the Juárez photos is also quite good). Fadek aims clearly to draw attention to these underreported crimes, but his photographs also capture the doom and foreboding that looms in the blood of 2666. Those who’ve read the novel will no doubt find them evocative of the fourth book of 2666, “The Part About the Crimes,” and those who are flirting with undertaking Bolaño’s big book may find their interest redoubled. In any case, Fadek’s photojournalism is well worth a look. Great stuff.

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