Hey everyone . . . I mean, hey flagamuffin :)
I'm setting up this thread for anyone who wants to discuss part 5 of 2666 (The Part About Archimboldi).
In part 5, we learn more about the enigmatic author who has so enamored the academics of part 1 and has left his mysterious mark on the other parts of the book. We learn about how Benno von Archimboldi came to be and delve further into the world of authors and books and what may or may not be Bolaño's personal views on how books, authors and writing shape the human experience, not to mention reading.
This part is also the most traditional, in terms of form and novelistic technique and by the end, we start to see how the disparate parts of the book begin to come together. However, what becomes clear is that Archimboldi is not some kind of hidden hero of the book, but rather is some kind of outside influence on the world that the book contains. This is of course, what authors are and what authors do.
Apparently, part 6 of 2666 was found in Bolaño's desk, along with other unpublished manuscripts, so perhaps a new edition will be issued someday.
Anyway, for anyone out there who has finished the book, these three articles might be worth taking a look at.
The last link is particularly interesting as it tackles the structure of the work and points out that it is in fact worth re-reading, a conclusion I have come to myself. However, I think I will give it several years (or perhaps a decade) before I read it again. I can't say that I agree with those out there that call it a masterpiece, but then again, I am still sorting through my own reactions to the book. I can say that it is skillfully written and it certainly isn't a work that sets out to entertain. I doubt that I will ever see it being sold in airports as it is a book of meticulous detail and subtle references that are easily lost in the vastness of the text.
In the end, for me this book was like climbing a mountain. At first, the fresh air was enjoyable enough to continue climbing, but soon I was berating myself for beginning the excursion in the first place and when I had reached the summit, though the entirety of the picture was revealed to me, I don't know that it was worth the effort or that it had changed anything within me. However, as I descended from the peak and moved away from the whole thing, I found that I am indeed glad for the experience.
Ok, some points of order. This concludes our reading and discussion of 2666 and so we will be taking suggestions for new books.
Previously suggested books are as follows:
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Boss by Mike Royko
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson
Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
any books by Cormac McCarthy
Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek
Morvern Callar by Alan Warner
Lanark: A Life in Four Books by Alasdair Gray
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
Zadie Smith - White Teeth
Doris Lessing - The Golden Notebook
Also suggested were books from this post: 24 books you've probably never heard of but will change your life
Once again: new suggestions are of course, welcome.
As this concludes 2666 I will step down from running the book club as was agreed by members who expressed interest in a rotating pool of leadership, which is also open if anyone would like to volunteer. I will say though, that in order to be in the pool of rotational leadership, members should be active and be able to keep to the schedules they issue in order to keep the hubski book club functioning.
Currently, in the pool for rotational leadership (including me) are:
If you three would please decide among yourselves who will take up the mantle and get back to me so that we can announce the new leadership at the same time the new book and proposed reading schedule go out, that would be great, thanks.
Right now, the shoutout list is as follows:
StJohn, DiamondLou86, AnSionnachRua, _refugee_, minimum_wage, flagamuffin, fuffle, b_b, hugitout, JakobVirgil, zebra2, AdSeriatim, mk, thenewgreen, SufficientGrace, ecib, kleinbl00, cliffelam, hootsbox, lil, rezzeJ, cgod, blackbootz, onehunna, AshShields, BLOB_CASTLE, insomniasexx, kuli, cowboyhaze, louderwords, Floatbox, maynard, hiss, NikolaiFyodorov, Meriadoc, wasoxygen, BlackBird, jayfixkleenit
Version for cutting and pasting:
If you are interested in being added to the list, please make that known in this thread and you will be added. If you would like to be removed, please also make that known.
@StJohn@, @DiamondLou86@, @AnSionnachRua@, @_refugee_@, @minimum_wage@, @flagamuffin@, @fuffle@, @b_b@, @hugitout@, @JakobVirgil@, @zebra2@, @AdSeriatim@, @mk@, @thenewgreen@, @SufficientGrace@, @ecib@, @kleinbl00@, @cliffelam@, @hootsbox@, @lil@, @rezzeJ@, @cgod@, @blackbootz@, @onehunna@, @AshShields@, @BLOB_CASTLE@, @insomniasexx@, @kuli@, @cowboyhaze@, @louderwords@, @Floatbox@, @maynard@, @hiss@, @NikolaiFyodorov@, @Meriadoc@, @wasoxygen@, @BlackBird@, @jayfixkleenit@
And finally, a note about book selection.
So far, we have finished two books in this incarnation of hubski book club. Both of the books (*The Fountainhead* by Ayn Rand and 2666 by Roberto Bolaño) were very long, very dense books and we saw a precipitous drop-off as the reading stretched into months (this one took more than 2 months). Please remember when voting for a book that people have lives outside of hubski too! Try to base your choice not only on interest, but what you can realistically achieve. In short, do not let your eyes get bigger than your literary mouth. Please!
Remember, the best way to achieve something is not by setting an unrealistically high goal, but rather by setting small, achievable goals. Thus: the reading schedule. If it does not look like you can make the schedule, or if the schedule seems unrealistic, we should evaluate whether or not the book is realistically manageable. The book club survives only by participation and if people do not participate, then it dies.
Thanks very much,