Read “Clara,” a Short Story by Roberto Bolaño


“Clara,” a short story by Roberto Bolaño:

She had big breasts, slim legs, and blue eyes. That’s how I like to remember her. I don’t know why I fell madly in love with her, but I did, and at the start, I mean for the first days, the first hours, it all went fine; then Clara returned to the city where she lived, in the south of Spain (she’d been on vacation in Barcelona), and everything began to fall apart.

One night I dreamed of an angel: I walked into a huge, empty bar and saw him sitting in a corner with his elbows on the table and a cup of milky coffee in front of him. She’s the love of your life, he said, looking up at me, and the force of his gaze, the fire in his eyes, threw me right across the room. I started shouting, Waiter, waiter, then opened my eyes and escaped from that miserable dream. Other nights I didn’t dream of anyone, but I woke up in tears. Meanwhile, Clara and I were writing to each other. Her letters were brief. Hi, how are you, it’s raining, I love you, bye. At first, those letters scared me. It’s all over, I thought. Nevertheless, after inspecting them more carefully, I reached the conclusion that her epistolary concision was motivated by a desire to avoid grammatical errors. Clara was proud. She couldn’t write well, and she didn’t want to let it show, even if it meant hurting me by seeming cold.

(Read the rest at The New Yorker)


4 thoughts on “Read “Clara,” a Short Story by Roberto Bolaño”

  1. The Savage Detectives and 2666 aren’t yet available on Kindle. Which of these do you recommend for someone who is new to his writing?

    The Secret of Evil
    By Night in Chile
    The Last Interview
    Nazi Literature in the Americas
    The Insufferable Gaucho
    The Return
    Between Parentheses
    The Skating Rink
    Distant Star
    Monsieur Pain

    Also, Borges: The Aleph, or Collected Fictions?



    1. From that list , I would start with Distant Star or The Return or maybe By Night in Chile (is Last Evenings on Earth not available?). You can also, *ahem* find *ahem* a version of 2666 that will play on your Kindle no problem (and just buy a physical copy, too, y’know, feed the heirs). With the Borges, I don’t know, I mean they’re all collections, so I’d just go with the longest one that has the most selections.


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