Chris Andrews at The New Yorker

The New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog interviews Chris Andrews. The magazine published Andrews’s translation of Roberto Bolaño’s short story “Prefiguration of Lalo Cura” earlier this week. From the interview:

A book that’s a joy to read can be frustrating to translate when, for whatever reason, the process keeps jamming up. And it’s very hard to predict just how hard a book will be to translate until you really get down to it, because smallish but time-consuming problems can be virtually invisible on a first reading. But of course translating has its joys as well: moving in slow motion through a fictional world, exploring its dimmer recesses, listening to what echoes in it, handling rich vocabularies …

“Prefiguration of Lalo Cura” — Roberto Bolaño

The New Yorker has published another short story by Roberto Bolaño. It’s called “Prefiguration of Lalo Cura” and it backgrounds a character from 2666, Olegario Cura Exposito (page 384, if you want to correlate things). The first paragraph:

It’s hard to believe, but I was born in a neighborhood called Los Empalados: The Impaled. The name glows like the moon. The name opens a way through the dream with its horn, and man follows that path. A quaking path. Invariably harsh. The path that leads into or out of Hell. That’s what it all comes down to. Getting closer to Hell or farther away. Me, for example, I’ve had people killed. I’ve given the best birthday presents. I’ve backed projects of epic proportions. I’ve opened my eyes in the dark. Once, I opened them by slow degrees in total darkness, and all I saw or imagined was that name: Los Empalados, shining like the star of destiny