From the Margins: "Los detectives salvajes", Transnational Novel

Jorge Zavaleta Balarezo


In this essay, the author analyzes the main characteristics and influence of Los detectives salvajes, one of the most important novels of the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) as a particular component of contemporary Latin American narrative. If we understand the idea of Bolaño as a heir and adherent of the “boom”, the famous  literary movement from the 60s and 70s, which included talented writers such as García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes and Julio Cortázar, we could find the similarities and connections in Bolaño´s work. His literature of the new millennium is connected to the globalization, if we follow the trips and displacements of the characters -Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano- around the world and their peculiar travel from Latin American to Europe but also to other countries. Then, Bolaño builds a narrative full of poetry, nostalgia, and memories, based on the permanent crisis of the subject of the modernity in a world dominated for financial and political interests, a world where always someone wins the battle every day and others lose. Bolaño represents precisely the narrative of the losers and borderlines.


Exile, migration,“Boom”, Southern Cone, 21st Century Latin American narratives, avant-garde

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