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Index Card, 005 - Pillow Books
The Romantic Dogs, by Roberto Bolaño

I started reading Bolaño when I was nineteen. One of his first books, Estrella Distante, turned me into a hardcore Bolaño-reader. I read everything I could, even an unpublished title in Latin America, Pista de Hielo, that one of my dearest friends stoled from a public library in Madrid.

Bolaño was a poet before being a fiction writer. He founded the Infrarealistic Movement and inspired his fiction with images borrowed from his poems.

The Romantic Dogs has become my favorite Bolaño book. It throws me back to my twenties, walking the streets of Mexico City, drinking, dreaming, and writing. His verses are still my war cry. His voice, after all these years, still represents me.

The Romantic Dogs

Back then, I’d reached the age of twenty
and I was crazy.
I’d lost a country
but won a dream.
As long as I had that dream
nothing else mattered.
And the dream lived in the void of my spirit.
A wooden bedroom,
cloaked in half-light,
deep in the lungs of the tropics.
And sometimes I’d retreat inside myself
and visit the dream: a statue eternalized
in liquid thoughts,
a white worm writhing
in love.
A runaway love.
A dream within another dream.
And the nightmare telling me: you will grow up.
You’ll leave behind the images of pain and of the labyrinth and you’ll forget.
But back then, growing up would have been a crime.
I’m here, I said, with the romantic dogs
and here I’m going to stay.

︎︎ Read The Romantic Dogs

A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books. (Ulises Carrion)

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